In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act (1935) covers most collective agreements in the private sector. The Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy, harass or terminate workers because of their union membership or to retaliate for organizing campaigns or other “concerted activities,” creating business unions or refusing to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees. It is also illegal to require any worker to join a union as a condition of employment.  Trade unions are also able to ensure safe working conditions and adequate remuneration for their work. The right to collective bargaining is recognized by international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the ability to organize fundamental human rights unions.  Point 2 (a) of the International Labour Organization`s statement on fundamental principles and rights in the workplace defines “freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” as an essential worker`s right.  The 1948 Convention on Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organization (C087) and several other conventions protect collective bargaining in particular by creating international labour standards that deter countries from violating workers` right to co-association and collective bargaining.  In Sweden, the scope of collective agreements is very high, although there are no legal mechanisms to extend agreements to entire sectors.
In 2018, 83% of all private sector employees were subject to collective agreements, 100% of public sector employees and 90% in total (compared to the overall labour market).  This reflects the predominance of self-regulation (regulation by the labour market parties themselves) over state regulation in Swedish industrial relations.  All of the above agreements address issues such as conditions and terminations of employment contracts, working time, minimum wage, leave pay and sick pay, etc. As has already been said, these agreements are often supplemented by local collective agreements. Duty to negotiate in good faith During the negotiation process, the parties are not required by law to reach an agreement. However, they must negotiate in good faith (29 U.S.C.A. Although faithful is a somewhat subjective term, the courts will consider all the circumstances of the negotiations, including off-the-table conduct such as pressure and threats (NLRB v. Billion Motors, 700 F.2d 454 [8.
Cir. 1983]). Most authorities agree that an absolute refusal to pay is bad faith (Wooster). Collective bargaining allows workers and employers to voluntarily agree on a wide range of issues. Nevertheless, it is limited to some extent by federal and regional laws. A collective agreement cannot be entered into by contract, which is prohibited by law. For example, a union and an employer may use unconventional negotiations to deprive workers of the rights they would otherwise enjoy under laws such as civil rights laws (Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 94 P.
Ct. 1011, 39 L Ed. 2d 147 ). Nor can collective bargaining be used to waive the rights or obligations that the laws impose on each party. For example, an employer cannot negotiate with collective agreements to lower safety standards that it must meet under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C.A. Moreover, the collective agreement is not purely voluntary. The inability of one party to reach an agreement allows the other party to resort to certain legal tactics, such as strikes and lockouts, to exert economic pressure and to reach an agreement. Moreover, unlike trade agreements that are governed by national law, the collective agreement is almost exclusively governed by federal labour law, which determines issues that require negotiations.