Country's Key Industrial Relations Element – A ReportThis paper is a report, describing and analyzing a country’s; in this case France’s key industrial relations elements in processes. Three main processes will be addressed in this report, namely, Collective bargaining, Dispute Resolution and Human Resource Management. The first key element is collective bargaining. The International Labour Organization Convention No. 98 (1949) relating to the Right to Organize and to Bargain Collectively, defines collective bargaining as the, “Voluntary negotiation between employers or employers' organizations and workers' organizations, with a view to the regulation of conditions and terms of employment by collective agreements” (De Silve, 1998, p.
17). Collective bargaining can occur both nationally or at the level of industry or enterprise. Responsibilities of collective bargainingEmployees and trade unions are responsible for collective bargaining. It is said to be a plain descriptive statement, however, it is a planned and stratified system held together by both verbal and written agreements between the unions and the management or between the unions themselves (Jenkins & Sherman, 1977). It is termed as collective as both the employer and employee act as a group rather than as individuals.
Collective bargaining involves form and workers’ representatives in order to lay down mutually agreeable terms and conditions of employment. It is a continuous process, which endeavors to establish stable relationships between parties involved. Apart from involving the bargaining agreement it also involves the implementation of the agreement. Collective bargaining aims to achieve discipline in the industry and is said to be a flexible approach because the parties involved in such an agreement assume a flexible attitude towards negotiations (Industrial Relations, 2007).
Role of Matignon Agreement by the Popular Front governmentMatignon Agreement passed by the Popular Front government in 1936 led collectiuve bargaining attain a legal status in France. The Matignon Agreement was signed between CGT trade union, the CGPF employers trade union confederation, and the French State. Collective bargaining in France has expanded in France as a result of many government initiatives. It has expanded into a well developed three-tier negotiation system despite the low trade union membership. Economy-wide, multi industry collective bargain in France was revived through the conclusion of the national “orientation agreements” in the late 1980s.
This was done to promote negotiation on topics such as modernization, technological change and advancement and flexible working hours (Traxler & Visser, 2002). Most important type of negotiationIn France, sectoral bargaining in part at national level and in part at regional level has been the most important type of negotiation. The importance of this type of negotiation increased with the Auroux laws in 1982. A collective bargain between an employer association and one recognized union will bind all the members of the association with respect to all the emplpoyees whether these employees are members of that union or not.
Moreover, half the sectoral agreements in France are extended by government decree. The Auroux laws also governs company level bargaining by making annual negotiations on pay and working time in firms with union representations. Hence since 1981 in France, the number of collective agreements and bargaining has increased five fold. However, they continue to encompass a much lower number of employees than branch level agreements. Collective bargaining in France is also based on the Collective Agreement Act of 1950 (Jackson, 1991).