Irish and UK collective agreements do not set legally binding standards and there are no legal rules on fairness or an opening clause. Under the rules of the Social Pacts, Irish companies could claim insolvency until 2009, although unions often challenged such claims, especially when unions did not have access to company financial data. Ireland`s new legislation on collective agreements, which govern the minimum wage in certain sectors such as cleaning, catering or construction, establishes a detailed procedure for certain companies to apply for a temporary exemption in the event of insolvency. These derogations can last from 3 to 24 months and, to avoid abuse, employers cannot apply twice for the quality exemption. The employer is obliged to give the trade union representative body or body authorised by the workers the opportunity to inform each worker of the draft collective agreement drawn up by the parties and to provide these bodies with the internal means of communication and information in his possession, computers and other technical equipment, premises for meetings and consultations outside working hours and the space necessary for the installation of blackboards. es to be provided. In Greece, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Ireland, negotiations on several employers almost disappeared during the recession. But a lot has also changed in continental European countries, where multi-stage negotiations seem stable, and more issues are being negotiated or decided at the holiday level, as I will discuss below. It should be pointed out, however, that although there are more company agreements than there were ten or fifteen years ago, their weight vis-à-vis the workers covered is not theirs. Corporate collective bargaining gave a boost to the privatization of former state-owned enterprises in the 1980s and 1990s, but there are few cases where sectoral agreements have broken into company agreements, following the British example of the 1980s. In Denmark and Sweden, separate company agreements, called “membership agreements”, are signed by un organised companies under strike union pressure in order to broaden the scope of sectoral agreements, and not as an alternative. Since the early 1980s, the metallurgical industry has de facto gained the role of wage leader in Austria (Traxler 1998). It is not yet known whether this will change following the employers` decision in 2012 to leave the joint bargaining platform of the six branches of the metallurgical sector and sign separate agreements.
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