Report highlights importance of government role in supporting collective bargaining

Europe

A policy brief published by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) looks at the role of collective bargaining in providing protection for the low-paid and the important role of government in setting a framework that protects and promotes collective bargaining. The authors found that over time, statutory minimum wages have become increasingly important, while state support for collective bargaining has declined. This is despite the fact that the report finds that state support for collective bargaining appears most successful in containing low-wage employment. The policy brief highlights what form state support for collective bargaining can take, arguing that even strong unions require a regulatory framework to guarantee freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, and the right to strike. States can also enhance union and employer association visibility and legitimacy by involving them in policymaking and can incentivise union membership by allowing unions to administer unemployment insurance or through tax rebates for membership fees. 

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