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 contractual, which is prohibited by law. For example, a union and an employer cannot use collective bargaining to deprive workers of rights they would otherwise enjoy under laws such as the Civil Rights Articles (Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.P. 36, 94, p. Ct. 1011, 39 L. Ed. 2d 147 ). Nor can collective bargaining be used to waive the rights or obligations that the law imposes on both parties. For example, an employer cannot use collective bargaining to lower the level of safety standards it must meet under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C.A. §651 et seq.).
In addition, the collective agreement is not purely voluntary. The inability of one party to reach an agreement allows the other to use certain legal tactics, such as strikes and lockouts, to exert economic pressure and force a deal. In addition, unlike trade agreements governed by national law, collective agreements are governed almost exclusively by federal labour law, which defines the issues, collective bargaining, date and method of bargaining, as well as the consequences of failure to negotiate or comply with a collective agreement. Obligation to negotiate in good faith During the negotiation process, the parties are not required by law to reach an agreement. They must, however, negotiate in good faith (29 U.S.C.A. § 158[d]). Although good faith is a somewhat subjective concept, the courts will consider all the circumstances of the negotiation, including conduct outside the bargaining table, as pressure and threats (NLRB v. Billion Motors, 700 F.2d 454 [8th Cir. 1983]). Most authorities agree that an absolute refusal to negotiate is in bad faith (Wooster). British law reflects the historical contradictory nature of British industrial relations.
In addition, workers are concerned that if their union is sued for violating a collective agreement, the union could go bankrupt, so workers could remain in collective bargaining without representation. . . .