Collective Bargaining: A Great Social Invention? = "There's strength in numbers" This is a cliché, or could even be called a proverb that most of us have heard at some stage in our lives. It also lies at the heart of collective bargaining, and it provides a reasonable, although simplistic reason for the use of collective bargaining, and also gives us an indication of where and for whom it is most useful. Collective bargaining's origins lie in one of man's primary instincts; defence. In an industrial relations context this is defence of proper working conditions, secure employment and proper pay. Collective bargaining allowed this by gaining pay increases through the increased power of the workers as a joint force.
In this context I see collective bargaining as more of an economic and political invention which has had an influence on the social aspects of employment and living. Because of this I would have to say that collective bargaining is not a great social invention simply because it was not a social invention. But it does have social benefits, by providing more economic stability for those who partake in it among other things which I will discuss in this essay. Collective bargaining also has its disadvantages which I will also discuss.
These advantages and disadvantages fall on both sides of the collective bargaining fence; the employees and employers. But what exactly is collective bargaining? The answer to that depends on ones viewpoint. What are the social benefits of collective bargaining? And who do these benefits affect?
These are but a few of the questions I intend to answer in the course of the next 2000 or so words. To put this essay in context I must say what I feel...