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When agreement has been reached on specific terms and conditions which both the parties agree to, then the contract is signed and kept safe for a certain period of time, usually it is for three years. This contract is referred to as the collective bargaining agreement owing to the nature of the contract (Smith, 2011). The collective bargaining processes and practices in the United Kingdom have faced a gradual decline in contemporary times which is evident from the decline in the participation in trade unions, and there are certain underlying reasons which explain this downfall of the negotiations which this paper tends to explore. EXPLAINING THE DECLINE Over a period of twenty year, Britain has seen the transformation of power with reference to trade unions, which initially occupied the position of being relatively powerful, and recently have come down to being relatively weak. It is imperative to the study of collective bargaining to understand why this decline took place. ...
There are both political and economic reasons for this significant reduction in the processes and practices of collective bargaining in the UK. The Thatcher and Major governments are the political side of the reasons, they were responsible for encouraging the break-up of negotiation processes in the private sector, and the decentralization of bargaining in the public sector also took place under their regimes. These governments were responsible for the removal of the minimum wage security for the low-pay workers, and they justified their stance by claiming that this would give more flexibility as the management could negotiate with employees on an individual basis, this reduced labor costs for the businesses. Economic reasons played a relatively significant role in the overall decline in collective bargaining. Participation in trade unions, and union membership was highest in sectors such as manufacturing and other heavy industries, and these industries underwent a decline in the recent years and thus it has become cumbersome for unions to organize the employees and collectively bargain for an agreement in new places, and expanding industries, even though there has been increased emphasis on organization and recruitment (TUC, 2011, 1-2). Collective bargaining has fallen as a result of the increasingly spreading organizational culture, as workers tend to become free riders, they don’t join unions and yet reap the benefits of collective agreements, thereby changing the process. Most members today view themselves as having a business transaction with the union wherein their pay their fee and get services without any active involvement, hence it results in low progress of collective agreements and industrial actions ...Show more

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Exam Questions 1 Question 1 -Critically explore the underlying reasons for the recent decline in collective bargaining processes and practices in the United Kingdom? INTRODUCTION Collective bargaining is an expedient tool of negotiation used by the employees in order to work with their employers…
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