Last week the OECD (the club of developed nations) published its latest jobs strategy – its first in 12 years.
The strategy is the organisation's best advice on how to deliver decent work in the face of widespread technological change.
And what it says is that collective bargaining by key trade unions is at the heart of how governments should be delivering better work.
The OECD doesn’t have a formal role in setting national or international policy, but its reports are important resources for policy makers.
Its first jobs strategy, published in 1994, is widely seen as influential in pushing the idea of labour market flexibility, used to justify the dismantling of workers’ rights.
The new strategy isn’t perfect (you can read the full assessment by TUAC, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the TUC here).
But in recognising the important role of collective bargaining in delivering better jobs, it’s a pretty remarkable turnaround for an institution that until recently was promoting breaking up sectoral bargaining institutions.
And it gives trade unions a wealth of evidence to help us argue what we know from our experience: that collective bargaining is the best way to deliver better work.
It shows that:
The OECD also calls on governments to:
put in place a legal framework that promotes social dialogue in large and smalls firms alike and allows labour relations to adapt to new emerging challenges.
In the UK that would start with repealing the unfair and undemocratic trade union act, which pushed the UK government even further away from having the legal framework trade unions need to organise and win more for workers.
But even if our government isn’t listening, trade unions know that collective bargaining is the best way to deliver better jobs – and we’ll keep fighting to expand it.
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