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You have to remember that you just have to find a union for a collective bargain treaty. What kind of union isn't specified and some small fake union, especially "christian" union will do. So yes, there have been until now and probably will in the future "unions", who will do any collective bargaining deal the employers want. Including below general minimum wages.
The mainstream will let the old treaties slide, but we don't know about the others.
Now de facto unions tend to have a unionization grade of 30% or higher in the firm or the sector and so can force the employers to negotiate. The employers then pay everybody according to the treaty, sometimes because the individual contracts are linked to collective contracts, sometimes because paying non union members less would be an encitement to join the union.
But especially in sectors or firms were unions are weak, small, almost virtual unions can make treaties too. In the individual treaties where is then a clause: pay according to collective treaty with christian union x. And you can claim to have a collective treaty. And you could use such a treaty with a pliant union to ward off a general minimum wage.
Or "union" and employers could even try to make the declaratory treaty mandatory in their sector. Mandatory treaties mostly exist in sectors were unions and employers associations are weak anyway.
Now anywhere were real unions exist, they could just go on strike. But in the many, especially service, sectors were real unions are weak, they are not able to go on strike.
There is one remedy: The courts. (It is Germany after all). Real unions can go to court an declare their unions non-union. If they are to weak to plausibly conduct collective bargaining, they should be declared non-unions, always in a particular sector. The unions succeeded with such a suit in the lend-labour sector recently.
But that needs years and even if the real union succeeds, in the meantime a new fake union has popped up.
It depends on unions strong enough to threaten a strike, that much is true.
The weakening of unions tend to show the flaws not visible with stronger unions.
That is also the reason that the weaker unions first supported a state minimum wage: the stronger unions could still pretend that in their sector everything is well.
That said I think in the end all collective bargaining rests on the ability of the unions to go on strike.
And in germany the employees councils can do a lot, but very much not negotiate about wages - unions only. (And this does actually go back to beginning of the twenties, like a lot of german labour laws)
a) There is collective bargaining agreement
b) Genuine unions are to weak to force one
c) The employer or a employers association seeks themselves a union and negotiate a agreement
d) In the individual agreements with employees a new clause incorporating the collective agreement is inserted
(It is probably a high fluctuations sector anyway or you can use move the employees to sign new treaties - no union they can complain too)
e) The individual agreement makes the collective agreement legally binding (It would be binding for union members of the contracting union anyway, but we assume few exists)
I can't use "contract"?
Fake unions play a role in temporary work: These slave traders must pay the same wage as the company where the slaves actually work IF THEY DON'T HAVE AN AGREEMENT OF THEIR OWN. So they have fake agreements with fake unions. They get away with it, because so few temp workers are organised in real unions
Worker councils are elected in the companies, but they don't do bargaining and they are banned by law from calling to strike.
You could change the labor laws and then they would have to on strike anyway. Like they just do.
A strike fund and organisation percentage large enough to support participation in a one-month general strike seems like a good benchmark to aim for.
Not that you will ever actually want to do a one-month general strike. But you have to be able to, for the same reason you have to be able to impose hard currency rationing and price controls, even if you don't ever want to actually do it.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
German unions and labour laws worked quite well as long as unemployment was low and slave temporary work was banned. When temporary work was introduced our stupid unions disdainfully refused to have anything to do with it. So now we have "core staff", well paid and organised in unions and temporary workers who get paid much less and who are organised in Verdi (the ones who supported a minimum wage fairly early), but organising them is very difficult and there are the fake unions IM mentioned.
You have the same "dual labour market" that we're told is the source of all our problems in the periphery?
guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
There are a few specialised companies though who pay well and who have no interest at all in flexibility of their well trained employees. In all other sectors of the economy precarious employment is becoming the rule as older employees reach pension age. There won't be much of a "dual labour market" soon.
Sorry, I almost never correct usage like that.
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