- Collective bargaining responses to the economic crisis in Europe
- Number of pages
- Brussels: European Trade Union Institute
- ETUI policy brief
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (HSI)
Collective bargaining has proven to be an effective instrument to maintain employment and to allow companies to find flexible solutions to deal with the steep economic downturn. In particular, social partners played an important role in implementing statutory short-time working provisions aimed at maintaining employment through the temporary reduction of working time. However, the increased pressure for the flexibilisation of working time, wage-setting and employment conditions may give rise to a trend towards ‘disorganised’ decentralisation of collective bargaining. Thus, it is vital that trade unions ensure that deviations from collective agreements are applied only temporarily in companies encountering economic difficulties. Furthermore, increased efforts by trade unions to coordinate their bargaining policies across borders are of particular importance in order to counter downward pressures on wages and working standards . Lastly, the role of the state is decisive in providing the preconditions for inclusive and effective collective bargaining and encompassing tripartite structures to involve social partners in public policy-making.
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