Lauralba Bellardi

The structure of collective bargaining: discussing its reform

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The paper focuses on the model of industrial relations as outlined by the 1993 "Protocollo" and brings out some most critical points concerning the collective bargaining system and its possible reform as emerging from the debate involving academics, practitioners, employers' associations and trade unions. Going back to the proposals issued from the Giugni commission, the author takes into account some basic features of the Italian industrial relations system and stresses the importance of maintaining the current two-tier bargaining structure though proposing a range of adjustments apt to combine the need for national-wide minimum standard protection with the demand for flexibility. The many implications involved with the various proposals of reform are thus analyzed with special regard to the relationship between the two bargaining levels. Provided that the need for coordination based on the hierarchical prevalence of the national level still has outstanding importance, the author insists on the functional relationship between the two levels and offers significant ideas to give more opportunities to the decentralised bargaining level.

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