Collective bargaining and labour relations

Collective bargaining is a fundamental right. It is rooted in the ILO Constitution and reaffirmed as such in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Collective bargaining is a key means through which employers and their organizations and trade unions can establish fair wages and working conditions. It also provides the basis for sound labour relations. Typical issues on the bargaining agenda include wages, working time, training, occupational health and safety and equal treatment. The objective of these negotiations is to arrive at a collective agreement that regulates terms and conditions of employment. Collective agreements may also address the rights and responsibilities of the parties thus ensuring harmonious and productive industries and workplaces. Enhancing the inclusiveness of collective bargaining and collective agreements is a key means for reducing inequality and extending labour protection.


  1. Blog

    On-demand... and organized!

    by Christopher Land-Kazlauskas, Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Specialist and Hannah Johnston, Technical Officer, Research Department.

  2. Blog

    Want to tackle inequality? Shore up collective bargaining

    by Susan Hayter, Senior Specialist, Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining

  3. Infostory

    Can collective bargaining create a fairer economy?

    Explore this InfoStory to discover the impact of collective bargaining on the economy, businesses and working lives.


  1. Book

    Collective Agreements: Extending Labour Protection

    This volume examines the extension of collective agreements and its use as a policy tool to expand the coverage of labour protection, and shore up collective bargaining.

  2. Global Deal

    The Global Deal is a global partnership with the objective of jointly addressing the challenges in the global labour market and enabling all people to benefit from globalisation.

  3. Book

    Industrial Relations in Emerging Economies: the Quest for Inclusive Development

    This work examines industrial and employment relations in the emerging economies of Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Turkey while assessing the contribution of industrial relations to inclusive development.

  4. International Labour Review (Vol. 154)

    What future for industrial relations?

    Traditional industrial relations institutions, born of labour law's premise of unbalanced power relations between the worker and the employer, are being undermined by unprecedented global changes in patterns of work and forms of employment.

  5. Publication

    The role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy - Negotiating for social justice

    This book looks at the role that collective bargaining plays in ensuring that workers are able to obtain a fair share of the benefits arising from participation in the global economy and in providing a measure of security against the risk to employment and wages.