Employers seem to like multi-unionism in the workplace the least. This has often led to an agreement with trade unions on uniform rules for workforce representation at company level, as in Italy. In some countries, such as the United States, the representation of a single union is established through a legal process. In others, the trade union movement in the workplace is merged into institutions of legal participation, giving works councils elected by all staff the right to information, consultation and codecision, while ensuring that management has a single counterpart with which to negotiate. Although works councils in most countries cannot call strikes, they tend to maintain close relations with internal and external unions, not least because most of their members are usually also members of a union. The Act is now included in the Trade Unions and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, p. 179, according to which collective agreements in the United Kingdom are conclusively regarded as non-legally binding. This presumption can be rebutted if the agreement is in writing and contains an express provision that it should be legally enforceable. All collective agreements in which the duration of the contract must be determined, which may not be less than three years, must be noted by the Labour Court, i.e. be recognised as a binding and valid document enforceable by it. These agreements are considered a surtax and become binding on the parties and employees employed or subsequently employed in the enterprise to which the agreement relates, whether or not they are members of the union (Article 17, IRA). The Labour Court could refuse to recognize agreements beneficial to the national interests of economic development. In 1991, some 379 collective agreements were noted.
It was only in 1995 and 1997 that this number slightly exceeded 400. Since 2004, the number of collective agreements taken into account has decreased significantly, from 369 in 2003 to 263 in 2005 (figures from the Labour Court Division, 20 July 2006). The provisions on equal pay for equivalent (comparable) work open up a wider scope for questioning, but this strategy has proved difficult to implement. Historical biases in the way “female” jobs are evaluated have not been easy to eliminate, as even fairly detailed job evaluation methods can maintain some aspects of gender bias and maintain existing hierarchies (Steinberg 1992). In addition, the cases have proven to be complex and time-consuming. However, the comparable value makes it possible to revise the valuation of work and is particularly important given the apparent resistance of occupational segregation patterns to change. It will be most effective when the possibilities for comparison are vast and the results apply collectively to types of jobs and not to individuals. Comparative research suggests that employers are willing to accept centralized bargaining if it helps keep unions out of the workplace. .