Project Information

Comparisons in decentralised bargaining: towards new relations between trade unions and work councils?

Aims

The project CODEBAR – Comparisons in decentralised bargaining: towards new relations between trade unions and works councils? - will address, from a multidisciplinary and multi-level governance perspective, the social partners’ responses to downward pressures on the locus of collective bargaining and the subsequent increasing involvement of workplace bodies of employee representation in eight EU Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and Sweden. CODEBAR will address also the strategic actions of - and new relationships between - trade unions and works councils (or other workplace bodies of employee representation) regarding partnerships - or conflicts - in company bargaining on terms and conditions of employment in these 8 countries. The project will disseminate the results of these analyses among social partners and policy makers at EU, national, sector and company level to stimulate information exchange and social dialogue on company bargaining and on (innovative) partnership co-operations between trade unions and works councils or other workplace bodies of employee representation.

Research Questions

CODEBAR will answer the following three main questions in the 8 countries and in cross-country comparative perspective:

  1. What are the (new or recently changed) opportunities and limits in legal systems and in collective bargaining systems for company level bargaining? And what is the related influence of (single-channel and dual-channel) systems of employee representation in these?
  2. What are the (new) strategic actions of employers, trade unions and workplace bodies of employee representation in decentralised company bargaining on terms and conditions of employment? And do we see new relationships between trade unions and works councils (or other workplace bodies of employee representation) regarding partnerships or conflicts?
  3. What are the recent results of these (new) company bargaining practices regarding:
    1. (non-)existence of an agreement,
    2. legal base and legal results of company agreements,
    3. balance in bargaining processes and disputes between individual employers and the workers’ representatives,
    4. the relative levels/standards in the agreed terms and conditions of employment,
    5. partnerships or conflict in the relationships and actions between individual employers and workers’ representatives and between trade unions and works councils or other workplace bodies of employee representation.

Methods

CODEBAR follows a similar mixed-method approach in all 8 countries, including:

  • desk research of available socio-legal literature and relevant case law in collective bargaining and employee representation in the 8 countries and in cross-country perspective;
  • desk research of available policy documents and reports of national and European institutions/agencies and available policy documents of the social partners in the countries regarding decentralised collective bargaining and co-determination/workers participation (and interrelationships);
  • Semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the company case studies about strategies, actions and experiences in decentralised bargaining practises and in related co-operational structures or conflicts/disputes. If relevant, also semi-structured interviews with trade unions and employers associations at the national and sectoral levels.
  • Socio-legal content analysis of the agreements in company bargaining, other related company documents, and in case of conflict also analysis of case law.
  • Validation of the findings with social partner organisations in the 8 countries in national workshops and with social partners from a broader range of Member States in the final conference (extra commitments of industriAll and ETUI at the midterm meeting as well).
  • Drafting national reports and non-technical summaries in the 8 countries.
  • Drafting a cross-country comparative report and overall non-technical summary for all 8 countries based on the 3 analyses in the national reports and joint discussion within the consortium of al researchers and social partner organisation involved in CODEBAR.
  • Drafting an eBook as follow-up of the 8 national reports and the comparative report to highlight the most important academic and practical implications of the findings and to formulate main challenges of decentralised bargaining for the coming years.

Lectures

Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm: Germany: New relations between trade unions and works councils? . Session: Comparisons in decentralised bargaining, ADAPT-ILO International Conference, Bergamo, Italy, 26.11.2021  Weitere Informationen

Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm: Codebar Industry Reports Germany. Midterm meeting CODEBAR, Bergamo, Italy , 25.11.2021

Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm: Comparatives in Decentralised Bargaining in Europe: Germany. ILERA World Congress, Lund, Sweden, 23.06.2021

Project data

Term of the project:
01.09.2020 - 31.08.2022

Reseach department:
Working-Time and Work Organisation

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter

Project team:
Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm

Funding:
EU