The decentralization of collective bargaining has been a notable trend in British industrial relations and in the industrial relations of many other countries in recent years. It involves two main changes in the level of bargaining: a movement from national or industry-level bargaining towards bargaining at the enterprise and a movement within the enterprise towards bargaining at business unit or establishment level. In the past, trade unions have exerted pressure for bargaining decentralization in order to secure higher rates of pay in profitable companies. More recently, however, the pace has been set by employers, who have advocated decentralization in order to secure flexibility, tie labour costs to performance, and reflect a broader decentralization of operational management to cost and profit centres. [See bargaining level.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.