Management of Industrial Relations

What are the Types of Collective Bargaining

Types of Collective Bargaining

(1) Conjunctive/Distributive Bargaining – The parties try to maximize their respective gains. They try to settle economic issues such as wages, benefits, bonus, etc., through a zero sum game. Unions negotiate for maximum wages. Management wants to yield as little as possible-while getting things done through workers.

(2) Cooperative/Integrative Bargaining – Integrative bargaining often takes the form of joint problem-solving, in which management and union come together and try to resolve a problem to the benefit of both sides. For example, a ‘problem’ of worker discontent over pay might be addressed through the negotiation of changed working practices that yield higher productivity and therefore permit higher earnings.

(3) Productivity Bargaining – In this method worker’s wages and benefits are linked to productivity. A standard productivity index is finalised through negotiations initially. Workers do not have to perform at exceptionally high levels to beat the index. If they are able to exceed the standard productivity norms workers will get substantial benefits. A management gain control over work place relations and is able to tighten the norms still further in future negotiations.

(4) Composite Bargaining – In this method labour bargains for wages as usual but goes a step further demanding equity in matters relating to work norms, employment levels, manning standards, environmental hazards, sub-contracting clauses, etc. This works in the favour of the workers, e.g., when unions negotiate manning standards they ensure the workload of workers don not exceed. Workers are no longer interested in monetary aspects to the exclusion of work related matters.

However, there is no doubt that wages, bonus and other monetary benefits continue to occupy centre stage in the bargaining sessions, but there is a definite shift towards composite bargaining. Without such a proactive stand workers may not be able to withstand the forces of liberalisation, automation, and outsourcing. Through composite bargaining unions are able to prevent the dilution of their powers and ensure justice to workers by putting certain limits on the freedom of employers. For the employer this is lesser evil when compared to strikes and lock-outs.

(5) Concessionary Bargaining – Concessionary bargaining is quite opposite to the other forms of bargaining, where the unions demanded from the employers, in concessionary bargaining, the objective is to giving back to management some of what it has gained in previous bargaining. Usually such a move is prompted by labour leaders who recognise the need to assist employers in reducing operating cost in order to prevent layoffs and plant closings. Thus, it is often economic adversity that motivates concessionary bargaining.

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