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

    Want to tackle inequality? Shore up collective bargaining

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

  2. 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.

What's new

  1. Publication

    Industrial relations in emerging economies: The quest for inclusive development

    15 March 2018

  2. Meeting document

    Athens Conference Summary Report

    20 February 2018

  3. ILO International Training Center - Turin

    Master in Industrial and Employment Relations

    19 February 2018


  1. 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.

  2. 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.