Ec Collective Agreement 2014

18. ←. In the case of Italy, there is a tension between the rules established autonomously by the social partners, which define a hierarchical relationship between the levels of negotiation, and the case law that an agreement at the enterprise level can always deviate from sectoral agreements. Wage coordination takes different forms in OECD countries. Table 4.6 shows the degree and nature of coordination between the OECD and the candidate countries. It follows Kenworthy (2001) and Visser (2016a) by distinguishing between the type of coordination (imposed by the state, standard negotiation, etc.) and the degree of coordination (ubiquitous and binding or not). Coordination is strongest when it is based on strict legal controls (this is called state-imposed coordination, and is done through indexation rules, mandatory minimum wages and/or maximum uprate rules). At present, only Belgium enters this category: wages are adjusted for the increase in the cost of living, but capped by a “wage standard” that takes into account the (weighted) evolution of wages in France, Germany and the Netherlands, in addition to a legal minimum wage negotiated between the social partners. Finland is the closest country to Belgium, as central agreements play (yet) an important role in managing what agreements can negotiate at a lower level (state-induced coordination). In France, the relatively high minimum wage also severely limits the flexibility of social partners and makes many salaries irrelevant (Fougére et al., 2016). In the Nordic countries, as well as in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, coordination takes the form of so-called “type negotiations), where one sector sets the objectives in the first place (usually manufacturing, which is exposed to international trade) and others (or at least some of them).

Typical negotiations are also taking place in Japan, where collective agreements are negotiated only at the enterprise level (see Box 4.4 for details). Finally, coordination can also take the form of internal or intra-community guidelines, where high-level organizations set standards or set an internal objective that should be pursued in negotiations at lower levels. This situation is more or less formal in several countries, but is generally only binding in countries where trade unions or high-level employers` organisations are relatively strong and centralized (usually the Nordic countries and, to a lesser extent, France and Italy). In most Central and Eastern European countries, OECD candidate countries and other decentralised systems, negotiating systems are not coordinated. As noted above, collective bargaining takes place in many forms and can take place between unions and an individual company (negotiation of a single employer) or between trade unions and employers` organisations (employer negotiations). However, these levels are not mutually exclusive and different topics can be addressed at different levels. In-depth analysis of specific issues that could have moved from one level to another in different OECD countries goes beyond the scope of this analysis. Instead, this section focuses on the presence and role of different forms of workers` voices (i.e. the collective interests of workers) and on representation at the company or company level26 as a key to the negotiation of a single employer. Data from the institutional characteristics of trade unions, wage-setting, state intervention and social pacts (ICTWSS database) are less dramatic than those of the ILO report, but they also show a significant decrease in the coverage rate from 84.9% in 2007 to 72.2% in 2013.