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Britain has one of the most developed systems of collectivebargaining in the world especially amongst manual workers Itssophistication is one of the main reasons why British workers traditionallypressed less for the statutory provision of basic rights in the work placethan their Continental colleagues Most trade unionists prefer to put agrievance through procedure rather than go to an industrial tribunalDubin has described collective bargaining as the great socialinvention that has institutionalised industrial conflict and by theDonovan Commission as right which is or should be the prerogative of everyworker in a democratic society It could be also defined as a method ofdetermining terms and conditions of employment through the process ofnegotiation and agreement between representatives of management and Collective bargaining does not require a comprehensive collectiveagreement for a stated period of time It requires only the recognition ofthe bargaining agency and the principle of action that mutual problems bejointly considered and jointly decided The desire of each party to beassured about the others future conduct - that is the desire forstability and security - makes the comprehensive collective agreement for aterm the normal concomitant of collective bargaining It requires eachparty to think into the future to anticipate situations and to determinesolutions before situations arise It requires the making of policy - whichwhen agreed upon becomes the collective agreement The heart of the collective agreement - indeed of collectivebargaining - is the process for continuous joint consideration andadjustment of plant problems And it is this feature which indicates thedifference between the collective labour agreement and commercial contractsgenerally Commercial contracts are concerned primarily with end resultscollective agreements with continuous process Workers organised intotrade unions and bargaining with employers provides a measure ofcountervailing power to the powers of management and that is fundamentalto industrial relations The collective bargaining process provides aformal channel through which the differing interests of management andemployees may be resolved on a collective basis The collective agreementis not made between parties
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