Publications

  1. National Tripartite Social Dialogue. An ILO guide for improved governance.

    Constituents have asked the ILO for support to establish a framework within which member States can promote tripartite social dialogue at the national level. This guide is a response to this request.

    It is meant to offer constituents a range of options when establishing a mechanism for national tripartite social dialogue or when reinforcing the existing system. However, the guide is not meant to be a normative document. It draws on the stipulations of international labour standards and on the lessons learned and experience gained by the ILO over the years in promoting social dialogue and providing policy advice, capacity building and practical guidance to tripartite constituents in all regions of the world.

April 2011

  1. Collective Bargaining for the 21st Century

    30 April 2011

    Collective bargaining has served as a cornerstone institution for democracy, a mechanism for increasing workers’ incomes, improving working conditions and reducing inequality, a means for ensuring fair employment relations and a source of workplace innovation. However, the number of workers belonging to trade unions has declined in many countries and global economic integration has tipped bargaining power in favour of employers. This paper reviews recent trends and developments in respect of collective bargaining. It examines the evolution of collective bargaining institutions in different regions of the world. It highlights the manner in which collective bargaining structures have adapted to competitive pressures and the increasing coordination of bargaining practices both within and across borders. In a survey of collective bargaining agendas, the authors note the increasing diversity of issues on the bargaining agenda. They highlight particularly innovative practices in respect of the application of collective agreements to non-standard workers and the role that collective bargaining played in mitigating the effects of the recent economic crisis on workers and enterprises. They argue that the support of public policy is essential to promote and sustain collective bargaining. These developments and the ongoing challenges facing collective bargaining present a number of issues for future research.

December 2010

  1. Working Paper 21: "Export processing zones: Comparative data from China, Honduras, Nicaragua and South Africa"

    01 December 2010

    This paper is a synthesis of studies on the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) experience in China, Honduras, Nicaragua, and South Africa. It assesses the historical features in each country that have given rise to a variety of EPZ models, and discusses the possibilities for social development in the different contexts, the creation of linkages, the working conditions within EPZs (as compared to similar industries in the non-EPZ sector) and the effect of the global economic crisis. Finally, the paper draws tentative conclusions regarding the overall performance of EPZs across sub-national and national contexts and raises questions to be addressed.

  2. Working Paper 20: "Tripartite cooperation, labour market reform and economic upturn in Singapore"

    01 December 2010

    The paper provides an overview of the institutional framework for social dialogue and tripartite consultation in Singapore, and its contribution to labour market reforms, particularly in addressing the impact of the global crisis on jobs and livelihood in the country. It also outlines the successful experience of tripartite partnership based on social dialogue, with the central goal of contributing to socio-economic development and national prosperity, including effective crisis recovery responses.

  3. Working Paper 19: "Restructuring enterprises through social dialogue: Socially responsible practices in times of crisis"

    01 December 2010

    The paper analyses examples of companies in which management, in collaboration with workers' representatives and unions, has designed and implemented socially responsible enterprise restructuring plans. The selected examples show that by creating space for dialogue and (self-)regulation aimed at protecting the levels, as well as the terms and conditions, of employment in specific plants (plant-level agreements) or across different operations of multinational companies (transnational company agreements), win-win situations can emerge, even in times of crisis.

  4. Working Paper 18: "Tripartite institutions, collective bargaining and employment relations in the Mauritian labour market"

    01 December 2010

  5. Working Paper 17: "Gender equality and social dialogue in India"

    01 December 2010

  6. Working Paper 16: "Gender equality and social dialogue in South Africa"

    01 December 2010

October 2010

  1. Working Paper 14: "Labour Relations and collective bargaining in Morocco"

    01 October 2010

    This paper is part of a comparative study examining industrial relations and collective bargaining trends in Africa. It examines how industrial relations institutions and practices have evolved and are adapting to meet contemporary labour market issues. The focus is particularly on collective bargaining trends and innovative agreements that contribute to employment security, social protection and the implementation of workers' rights. The study helps to fill a knowledge gap on industrial relations in developing countries.

  2. Working Paper 13: "Collective Bargaining and Employment Relations in Kenya"

    01 October 2010

    This paper provides an account of the development of the employment relationship in Kenya, noting the role of public policy and the environment that nurtures social dialogue and collective bargaining in the country. The paper takes the view that, progressively, discernible employment relations through tripartite cooperation and collective bargaining have played a significant role in Kenya's labour market.

July 2010

  1. DIALOGUE in Brief No. 2 - Transnational company agreements on enterprise restructuring

    01 July 2010

    The brief highlights a number of socially responsible restructuring initiatives taking the form of innovative transnational company agreements (TCAs). TCAs are labour-management agreements signed between multinationals on one hand, and on the other hand, European and/or international federations of workers representing national unions by sector of activity and/or the European Works Councils (EWCs) of the multinationals.

May 2010

  1. Working Paper 12: “Tripartite responses to the economic crisis in essential western European countries”

    01 May 2010

    This working paper analyses tripartite responses to the economic crisis primary in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. The author shows, that at the outbreak of the crisis, most of the countries already had experience in using social pacts in the 1990s. Countries with a strong tradition of tripartite dialogue were more likely to reach balanced responses to the crisis than countries that implemented measures without concertation.

April 2010

  1. The concept of information-consultation In times of crisis: an overview of normative guidelines and recent practices

    30 April 2010

    This article consists of two parts. The first part concerns the concept of social dialogue, and emphasizes a certain number of instruments of the International Labour Organization related to information-consultation. The second part will present a sort of cartography of practices observed at national level, and in companies, during times of crisis. In the conclusion, some questions concerning risks and opportunities caused by the crisis in terms of socio-economic governance will be evoked.

March 2010

  1. Working Paper 11: “Social dialogue and industrial relations during the economic crisis: Innovative practices or business as usual?”

    01 March 2010

    This paper evaluates the role social dialogue played so far in dealing with the crisis on various levels in Europe. Taking into account the different institutional frameworks on the national level, company level responses that rarely included training measures as well as collective bargaining measures lacked behind the scope of their possibilities in many European countries. The paper therefore highlights the importance of greater coordination between the different levels of Social Dialogue with the aim not to face an increasing ineffectiveness of such measures.

  2. Working Paper 10: “Negotiating the crisis? Collective bargaining in Europe during the economic downturn”

    01 March 2010

    This paper highlights in the role of the key actors in the labour market, which are the trade unions, the employer organizations and the state, in negotiating responses to the economic downturn. As the crisis revealed, the role of the state changed with regard to the prevailing paradigm of the neoclassical school towards a central role in finding responses to the crisis. The paper therefore reflects a wide range of responses on the national, inter –sectoral and sectoral level, the regional level and most important the company level.

  3. Working Paper 9: "Company-level bargaining in times of crisis: The case of Germany"

    01 March 2010

    This paper highlights the role collective bargaining played in easing the impact of the crisis on the company level in Germany. In using the company examples of Daimler AG, Postbank AG, Arccador AG, AB InBev Germany GmbH and Carl Zeiss AG, the paper shows that collective bargaining has been a tool to face a multitude of challenges. An important factor that enabled the social partners to reach innovative agreements was the strong framework to deal with the crisis, set by the German government.

January 2010

  1. Collective Bargaining: Negotiating for Social Justice. Proceedings of the High-level Tripartite Meeting on Collective Bargaining.

    02 January 2010

    This booklet contains the opening addresses by Ambassador Farani Azevedo (Chairperson of the ILO GB), Sir Roy Trotman (Worker Vice-Chairperson), Daniel Funes de Rioja (Employer Vice-Chairperson) and by Juan Somavia, Director-General of the ILO and a summary of the proceedings written by Prof. Thomas A. Kochan, Chairperson of the Meeting.

November 2009

  1. DIALOGUE in Brief No. 1 - Recovery from the crisis through social dialogue

    01 November 2009

    The brief provides an overview of how social dialogue serves as a strong basis for building the commitment of employers and workers to the joint action with governments needed to overcome the crisis and for a sustainable recovery. It provides a review of successful experiences of national social dialogue in some countries as well as the efforts made by tripartite partners to overcome difficulties, from which some policy conclusions are drawn.

  2. Working Paper 8: A comparative study on industrial relations and collective bargaining in East Asian countries

    01 November 2009

    This paper is part of a series of studies on industrial relations developments in different countries and regions of the world. It examines the current state of industrial relations and collective bargaining, as well as the varied legal, political, economic and social changes leading to the realities of employment relations in East Asian countries today. Before the 1990s these countries enjoyed relative stability in industrial relations; however, as a result of globalization, they now face increasing competitive pressures and are experiencing a degree of turbulence as the actors attempt to settle into viable models of industrial relations.

  3. Working Paper 6: Labour Relations in Uruguay 2005-08

    01 November 2009

    This paper is part of a series of studies examining industrial relations developments in different countries and regions of the world. It looks at how industrial relations systems and practices have evolved, and at how they are adapting to meet contemporary labour market challenges. It is particularly concerned with collective bargaining trends and innovative agreements that contribute to employment security, social protection, and the implementation of workers’ rights.

October 2009

  1. Working Paper 7: Industrial Relations and Collective Bargaining in China

    01 October 2009

    This paper is a part of a comparative study examining industrial relations developments in different countries and regions of the world. It examines the remarkable changes China has undergone in the field of industrial and employment relations, in particular after the transition to a market economy after 1978. Economic reform in China has been accompanied by the introduction of a new legislative and institutional framework for industrial and employment relations and this paper studies those developments.