Non-standard Workers: Good Practices of Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining

Minawa Ebisui


This paper provides a comparative analysis of a series of national studies on non-standard work, collective bargaining and social dialogue in some selected countries – Argentina, Colombia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa – which the Industrial and Employment Relations Department (DIALOGUE) of the ILO has conducted as a pilot project under the ILO’s Global Product on “Supporting Collective Bargaining and Sound Industrial Relations”. Following an analysis of the factors which have resulted in non-standard workers having a limited capacity to exercise collective bargaining, the paper identifies a variety of approaches and strategies whereby collective bargaining and tripartite social dialogue improve non-standard workers’ terms and conditions of work, as well as their status. The paper provides examples of bargaining approaches such as negotiation outside workplaces, multi-employer bargaining, and extension of collective agreements, which are used to overcome existing obstacles to effective collective bargaining for non-standard workers. It then examines the way collective bargaining is used to regulate issues concerning non-standard workers, including regularization and employment security, equal pay for work of equal value, limiting the period of fixed-term contracts, interests and needs specific to non-standard workers, and the economic dependent self-employed. The paper also touches upon national tripartite social dialogue practices in this regard. It concludes that pursuing more inclusive and equitable social dialogue and collective bargaining for non-standard workers requires interactions between multi-faceted aspects and different actors, which go hand in hand with legal and judicial developments in relevant areas, including equal treatment, fixed-term and part-time employment, temporary agency work, termination of employment, social protection and social security, the employment relationship, and overarching industrial relations laws and regulations which govern social dialogue and collective bargaining.

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