Collective agreements in Germany are legally binding, which is accepted by the public, and this is not a cause for concern.  [Failed verification] While in the United Kingdom there was (and probably still is) an “she and us” attitude in labour relations, the situation is very different in post-war Germany and in some other northern European countries. In Germany, the spirit of cooperation between the social partners is much greater. For more than 50 years, German workers have been represented by law on boards of directors.  Together, management and workers are considered “social partners.”  Pro`s collective agreement guarantees a level playing field of contractual relationship and fair compensation. Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 (29 U.S.C.A. No. 151 and following) to establish the right of workers to collective bargaining and other group activities. The NLRA also created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a federal authority empowered to enforce the right to collective bargaining (No.
153). The NLRA has been amended several times since 1935, including 1947, 1959 and 1974. The collective agreement binds signed union members and employers who are members of an employer union that signed the agreement. These agreements are considered normally binding. The Act is now enshrined in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 p.179, which provides that collective agreements are definitively considered non-binding in the United Kingdom. This presumption can be rebutted if the agreement is written and includes an express provision that it should be legally enforceable. There are provisions that are recorded in collective agreements that are not regulated by legislation. These issues include travel expenses, vacation bonuses, extra days off (called “pekkasvapaat”) or sick or maternity leave benefits.
One area of the ongoing conflict between unions and employers is that wage increases are mandatory bargaining partners. In Acme Die Casting v. NLRB, 26 F.3d 162 (D.C. Cir. 1994), the Court of Appeal analyzed the employer`s historical practice of determining the frequency and size of wage increases and found that the issue of granting a wage increase is not left to the employer`s discretion and cannot be decided without negotiation with the union. Since 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to resolve whether wage increases are mandatory collective bargaining issues, so federal appels courts have developed their own rules to address this issue. If an employer does not exercise discretion to determine the date or amount of the wage increase, the issue of wage increases is a matter of collective bargaining. NLRB v. Beverly Enter.-Mass., Inc., 174 F.3d 13 (1st Cir. 1999). Even if an employer exercises some discretion in setting wage increases, such as an annual increase to cover the cost of living, this circumstance does not prevent wage increases from becoming a subject of duty if the company has long been granting such wage increases.
NLRB v. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., 00-1969, 2001 WL 791645 (4. Cir. July 13, 2001). A unilateral change to a mandatory bargaining topic before the outcome is generally an unfair labour practice, although workers may view the change as beneficial.