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Collective Bargaining - Essay Example

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"The American system of free collective bargaining is built on the relatively simple proposition that workers ought to have an uncoerced right to decide whether or not they wish to be represented by a trade union for the purpose of collective bargaining with their employer." Collective Bargaining and Collective Policies (1979, p.140).
"The system of collective bargaining by which the terms and conditions of employment of most working people are settled has developed in a way which is largely unregulated by law;" this is said about UK Collective bargaining (Ibid. p.128).
Issues vary in collective bargaining from one situation to another with multiple issues at stake; it needs hard negotiation, diplomacy, tact, bargaining power, and persuasion. To a large extent, it is based on conflict; but this should not mean that collective bargaining is on warpath. Talking about the social psychology of bargaining, Morley and Stephenson (1977) argue: "Conflict in formal negotiation groups is thus regarded as a function of the task itself, the attitudinal commitments of a negotiator to a party position, and the role obligation of a negotiator to represent a party," (p.29).
Recently collective bargaining had been showing a necessity of combined knowledge from various interconnected disciplines, as industry and well being of workers have connection with many of today's issues like mass communication, law, psychology, journalism, sociology and economics. Employers too interact within a complex legal framework: their actions are influenced and often constrained by economic or political events largely beyond their control; decisions are made by leaders representing complex and often large organizations, diverse interest groups, and individuals with differing needs, expectations, attitudes and abilities," Kochan,(1980, p.2).


For effective Collective Bargaining, unions have to possess clear knowledge of government policies. They should be capable of policy evaluation and familiar with frequent amendments and further developments. They also should be in touch with court proceedings that keep amending or improving the policies. The collective bargaining group should be able to understand the total meaning and repercussions of the new policies, trends and laws completely. They have to be aware of the recent legal judgements, Government policies and have knowledge of collective bargaining achieved by other companies. Unions, who are well prepared for the job, would achieve better bargaining for their workforce. Usually, every union proclaims its own values, exalted principles and outlooks. These values and principles give identity and depth to the organisation and clear policy decisions could be the base of any good industrial relations.

Social and political attitudes all over the world, towards work and industries have undergone a sea change over the years. Today, Unions responsible for Collective bargaining reflect economic, political, cultural and sometimes even religious changes in the society. Social philosophies prevailing at the time of bargaining in the region too get mirrored in the bargaining process. Labour is treated as a commodity for a long time now. Since the industrial revolution, although the progress had been painfully slow at times, collective bargai ...Show more
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Summary

The now popular term 'collective bargaining' was used for the first time by Sidney and Beatrice Webb in their works. It is a product of modern industrial society, and has no place in traditional agricultural society and it mirrors the economic change in the society.
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