A collective agreement is a written contract between an employer and a union representing workers. The KBA is the result of a broad negotiation process between the parties on issues such as wages, hours and terms of employment. In Sweden, about 90% of employees are subject to collective agreements and 83% in the private sector (2017).   Collective agreements generally contain minimum wage provisions. Sweden does not have legislation on minimum wages or legislation extending collective agreements to disorganised employers. Unseated employers can sign replacement agreements directly with unions, but many do not. The Swedish model of self-regulation applies only to jobs and workers covered by collective agreements.  The right to bargain collectively with an employer strengthens the human dignity, freedom and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the definition of labour rules and thus gain some control over an important aspect of their lives, namely their work… Collective bargaining is not just a tool for pursuing external objectives… Rather, it is an experience as an experience of self-management that is in itself valuable… Collective bargaining enables workers to achieve some form of democracy in the workplace and to guarantee the rule of law in the workplace. Workers gain a voice to influence the definition of rules that control an important aspect of their lives.  In June 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada examined in detail the reasons for respecting collective bargaining as a human right.
In the case of the Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia, the Court made the following findings: the Office of Labor Management Standards, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, is required to bring together all collective agreements for 1,000 or more workers, with the exception of those relating to railways and airlines.  They offer the public access to these collections through their website. British law reflects the historically contradictory nature of labour relations in the United Kingdom. In addition, workers are concerned that the union, if it were to file a collective agreement infringement action, would be bankrupted, which would allow workers to remain in collective bargaining without representation. This unfortunate situation can change slowly, including due to EU influences. Japanese and Chinese companies, which have British factories (particularly in the automotive industry), try to pass on the company`s ethics to their workers. [Clarification needed] This approach has been adopted by local British companies, such as Tesco.
Collective agreements are signed for certain periods, usually two to four years. A collective agreement is mandatory for both the employers` organization and its members, the union and its members, on the other. In addition, a collective agreement is generally also in practice, if not theoretically, for individual non-unionized workers and unionized workers who belong to a union other than the union that are part of the collective agreement, provided that (i) the worker works with collective agreement tasks and (ii) that the union to which the worker is affiliated is not bound by another collective agreement with the employer. But what do you know about the collective bargaining process that leads to an agreement that puts your salary at home, about the health care you and your loved ones need, the paid free time you receive, your path to promotion – and much more? Collective agreements in Germany are legally binding, which is accepted by the public, and this is not a cause for concern.  [Failed verification] While in the United Kingdom there was (and probably still is) an «she and us» attitude in labour relations, the situation is very different in post-war Germany and in some other northern European countries.