collective bargaining, trade unions, competition, privatisation

Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining

For most of the twentieth century, collective bargaining provided the terms on which labour was commonly employed in Britain. However, the quarter century since 1980 has seen the collapse of collectivism as the main way of regulating employment. Our argument is that the tacit settlement between organized labour and employers was undermined by increasing product market competition. The paper first provides an overview of the changing map of collective bargaining, focusing on the private sector.