Collective bargaining

What Is Collective Bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a negotiation process between employers and a group of employees. It aims to reach agreements concerning various aspects of employment, including salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other elements of employee compensation and rights. This process is integral in establishing fair and mutually beneficial terms of employment for both parties involved.

Through collective bargaining, employees can collectively voice their needs and concerns, resulting in agreements that help maintain a harmonious and productive work environment.

Historical Background Of Collective Bargaining:

Collective bargaining has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, gaining prominence as a means for workers to collectively advocate for their rights and fair treatment in the workplace. Unions often played a central role in collective bargaining, representing the interests of the employees and facilitating the negotiation process.

What Is The Purpose And Objective Of Collective Bargaining?

  • Fair Compensation: Ensuring that employees receive reasonable wages, benefits, and other forms of compensation.
  • Safe Working Conditions: Negotiating for a safe and healthy work environment for employees.
  • Dispute Resolution: Providing a structured process for resolving conflicts between labor and management.

What Is The Legal Framework For Collective Bargaining In The Uae?

Collective bargaining in the UAE and Saudi Arabia is influenced by unique labor and immigration reforms. In the UAE, trade unions are not permitted, and collective agreements do not exist, as per the Chambers Global Practice Guides (Source 2). This indicates a centralized approach to labor relations in the UAE.

Instead, the UAE government encourages the establishment of Workers' Committees, which serve as a channel for communication between employees and management.

  • Workers' Committees are established within individual companies and serve as a means for employees to voice their concerns, suggestions, and grievances to the management.
  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) plays a significant role in regulating labor relations in the UAE.
  • Employment contracts in the UAE are typically individually negotiated between employers and employees, outlining terms and conditions.
  • The UAE Labor Law outlines the rights and protections afforded to employees, covering areas such as wages, working hours, leave, and workplace safety.

What Is The Legal Framework For Collective Bargaining In Saudi Arabia?

Like the UAE, the labor system in Saudi Arabia is primarily regulated by the Saudi Arabian Labor Law, which sets out certain rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees.

Under Saudi Arabian labor law, there are Workers' Committees and Labor Unions, but their functions and scope of authority are limited compared to what might be seen in countries with more developed collective bargaining systems.


Collective bargaining plays an important role in shaping the labor landscape, influencing the terms and conditions under which employees work. Understanding its processes and implications is essential for both labor representatives and management in today's dynamic work environments.

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