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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this article is to examine the differing rationales for collective bargaining in the United States and Europe, and how these rationales affect the nature of participation through collective bargaining. The article shows how the basis for collective bargaining in the United States has been the removal of impediments to economic efficiency caused by disputes over union recognition, while in Europe it has generally been industrial pluralism and worker rights. In the United States, given the economic rationale for collective bargaining, in situations in which collective bargaining is perceived as impairing economic efficiency the scope of participation through collective bargaining is narrowed. On the contrary, the pluralistic and worker rights rationale for collective bargaining in Europe has resulted in deep collective worker participation at all levels on a range of matters ranging from national policy to work scheduling.

Keywords: collective bargaining, economic efficiency, union recognition, industrial pluralism, worker rights

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