Research reports

LEVEL UP! Support and develop collective bargaining coverage


LEVEL UP! Support and develop collective bargaining coverage

Authors: Ceccon, D. , Kahancová, M. , Martišková, M. , Medas, G. and Šumichrast, A.
Published: May 2023


Collective bargaining is undergoing a transformation to address various emerging issues in European labour markets. These include, for example, questions of job stability and wage depreciation in the energy and inflation crises, changes to working time, accommodating worker needs in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeking a work-life balance among European workers, the mitigation of work-related risks from exposure to political radicalism, work-related migration and the right for equal working conditions for all workers, and last but not least, the increased use of digital technologies for managing worker data and worker surveillance in a fair and transparent way. Based on an extensive literature review and analysis of the content of collective agreements, this report shows how multi-employer bargaining (MEB) can be beneficial for tackling such complex challenges. It presents the arguments in favour of MEB, the benefits for workers, trade unions, employers and for society, the preconditions for its proper functioning, but also the obstacles to MEB as reported across various European countries. The main benefits of MEB include equality, professionalism, efficiency, and conflict prevention are relevant for various kinds of stakeholders – for workers, for unions, for employers, and for the society in general.

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