The debate around the Decent Work Agenda is one of the most relevant political moments of the present decade, whose guidelines will help to define the course of labour reforms, with social and economic implications that will be projected into the future, with collective bargaining to assume an unavoidable centrality in the aforementioned Agenda.
Collective bargaining is a valuable tool for business management, as useful to employers as to workers, which can solve or mitigate in advance numerous conflicts, obstacles and contingencies of business and labour activity, in areas as diverse as the organization of working time, geographic and functional mobility or career progression. Collective bargaining, reflecting an effective involvement of the main actors of industrial relations in the process of defining the applicable rules, can offer more adequate solutions to specific problems arising in various professional contexts, filling the shortcomings of the Labour Code and other labour legislation in aspects that are often a source of instability and antagonism, with negative consequences for the productivity and performance of companies.
Besides a brief historical review of the legal framework of collective bargaining and an analysis of the impacts of previous reforms, there are some reflections on possible paths to take in consideration in a future reform. The specificities of the national system of collective labour relations are also analysed, identifying its characteristics in order to project a balanced, dynamic and coherent model, with positive repercussions for workers and companies, guaranteeing justice at work, regulation and market stability.
Keywords: Collective bargaining, labour reforms; arbital model; Decent Work Agenda, Regulation, Regulation and competition.
Authors: Filipe Lamelas, Pedro Rita