Types of Collective Bargaining
Conjunctive / Distributive Bargaining:
Distributive bargaining is the most common type of
bargaining & involves zero-sum negotiations, in other
words, one side wins and the other loses.
Both parties try to maximize their respective gains.
They try to settle economic issues such as
wages, benefits, bonus, etc.
For Example, Unions negotiate for maximum wages &
the management wants to yield as little as possible –
while getting things done through workers.
• In distributive bargaining, unions and
management have initial offers or
demands, target points (e.g.: desired wage
level), resistance points (e.g.: unacceptable wage
levels) & settlement ranges (e.g.: acceptable
wage level). Another name for this type of
bargaining is conjunctive bargaining.
• Cooperative /Integrative Bargaining:
Integrative bargaining is similar to problem
solving sessions in which both sides are trying
to reach a mutually beneficial alternative, i.e.
a win-win situation.
• Both the employer & the union try to resolve
the conflict to the benefit of both parties.
Both sides share information about their
interests and concerns and they create a list of
possible solutions to best meet everyone’s
• For Example, when companies are hit by
recession, they cannot offer the kind of wages
and benefits demanded by workers. At the
same time they cannot survive without the
latter’s support. Both parties realize the
importance of surviving in such difficult times
and are willing to negotiate the terms of
employment in a flexible way.
• Productivity Bargaining:
• The concept of productivity bargain involves a
good understanding of the following concepts.
Based on these concepts both the parties
must develop a productivity linked scheme.
• Difference between productivity & work intensity
• How to conduct work study
• ILO guidelines for work study – Personal needs
allowance, Fatigue allowance, hazardous
allowance , etc.
• Other Methods like MOST (Maynard Operational
• Systems improvement and method improvement
• Required Skills and Knowledge for productivity
• Composite Bargaining:
• Workers believed that productivity bargaining
agreements increased their workloads.
Rationalization, introduction of new
technology, tight productivity norms have
added to this burden and made the life of a
worker some what uneasy. As an answer to
such problems, labor has come in favor of
• In this method, labor bargains for wages as usual,
but goes a step further demanding equity in
matters relating to work norms, employment
levels, manning standards, environnemental
hagards , sub-contracting clauses etc. This works
in the favor of the workers, for e.g., when unions
negotiate standards they ensure the workload of
workers don’t exceed .
• Concessionary Bargaining:
• Quite opposite to the other forms of
bargaining, where the unions demanded from
the employers, in concessionary bargaining,
the objective is to giving back to management
some of what it has gained in previous
• Why should labor be willing to give back what
it has worked so hard to obtain?
• A good example is the agreement between
General Motors & the International Union of
Electric Workers that granted GM around the-
clock operations, wages and benefits
concessions for the new hires, and a two-week
mass vacation. The concessions were made to
save over 3,000 jobs.
• In some cases, despite a financial crisis, the
union may not be willing to concede. This may
be because the union doesn’t view
management’s arguments as credible.
Thus, the degree of trust and credibility
between the management and the union may
influence the extent to which concessionary
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