Collective Bargaining Agreement in India - Industrial Relations Management

The agreement arrived at between the representatives of a trade union and the employer is called as collective bargaining agreement. Ludwig Teller has broadly defined collective bargaining agreement as “an agreement between a single employer or an association of employers on the one hand and a labour union upon the other, which regulates the terms and conditions of employment.” The term ‘collective’ as applied to collective bargaining agreement will be seen to reflect the plurality not of the employers who may be parties thereto, but of the employees therein involved. Again the term collective bargaining is reserved to mean bargaining between an employer or group of employers and a bona fide labour union. Bargaining which involves a company dominated union is assumed to be merely a disguised form of individual bargaining. As per Teller the Collective Bargaining agreement bears in its many provisions the imprints of decades of activity contending for labour equality through recognition of the notions underlying collective negotiation.

Indeed, in the collective bargaining agreement is to be found aculminating purpose of labour activity . Collective agreements may be written or unwritten. Whatever be the form of agreements these may be looked upon as legislative acts setting forth the rules governing employment relationship for a specified period of time. However, these laws are private in nature. Despite many of the laws passed by the legislature, these agreements are of greater importance to the workers in majority of cases. The economic strength of the parties is supposed to be the main sanction behind a collective agreement. If a party under the agreement does not agree to abide by and fulfill the commitments, the other party in order to meet its obligations can force him by resorting to economic pressures to do so.

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