Workers are better off by joining a union and negotiating collectively. Together we achieve better pay and conditions for the benefit of all.

The benefits of collective bargaining are well-documented across Europe. Companies with collective agreements have better conditions in terms of wages, bonuses, working time etc.

Collective bargaining promotes equality and decent employment. It produces positive effects everywhere. Whilst unions seek to ensure that no-one is left behind there is also a sizable trade union premium: union members often enjoy better conditions than non-unionized workers.

Here are some examples from selected countries in different parts of Europe:

    The Czech Republic:
    • Trade union members of OS KOVO in the metal sector earn 15% more because of their collective agreement (this means 200 euro extra/month thanks to collective bargaining). This wage difference would after three years accumulate to around 6,700 euro which is enough to buy a small car.
    • The gender pay gap is narrower in companies with collective agreements. In 2018, the wage difference between women and men was 26.0% in companies with collective agreement, and 23.1% in companies without collective agreement.
    • Working time is also 55 hours shorter per year, a difference which accounts for seven shifts. Between 2016 and 2018, an employee with collective agreement worked 154.8 hours less, which represents 20.5 shifts, i.e. almost an entire calendar month.
    • Trade union members of CO-industri have 25% more benefits which consist of wage difference, shorter hours and other advantages in companies with collective agreements.
    • Data from IG Metall shows that in companies without collective agreements, wages are 24% lower on average.
    • For unskilled workers, the difference is even 32% lower for those without a collective agreement.
    • Working hours are also 14% longer for those not covered by an agreement.
    The UK:
    • UNITE trade union members earn, on average, 10% more than non-members

“Workers are better off by joining a union and negotiating collectively. Only together can we win better pay and conditions for the benefit of all” states Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe. “Raising workers’ awareness about the benefits of collective bargaining, boosting union membership and strengthening trade unions are therefore principle objectives of our campaign. “

About the campaign
The objective of industriAll Europe’s collective bargaining campaign is to demonstrate the positive impact of collective bargaining, underpinned by strong unions, in delivering a better life for workers. It consists of 7 targeted campaigns, each lasting one month. The ‘Workers Campaign’ runs from 14th October – 15th November.

Visit for more information.
See the campaign coverage here. Watch the campaign video.
Contact Patricia Velicu for more information or further comment.