Collective agreements are widespread in the Swedish labour market and largely regulate the relationship between employer and workers. In June 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada examined in detail the reasons for respecting collective bargaining as a human right. In the case of the Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association/British Columbia, the Court found that the definition of a collective agreement is found in the Participation Act, which states that a collective agreement is a written agreement between employers` organizations or an employer, on the one hand, and the organization of workers, on the other. An agreement is considered written if its contents are recorded in approved minutes or if a proposal for agreement and acceptance are recorded in separate documents. Oral agreements or agreements that do not concern the relationship between the employer and the workers are not considered a collective agreement. Only one in three OECD workers has wages agreed upon through collective bargaining. The 36-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has become a strong supporter of collective bargaining to ensure that falling unemployment also leads to higher wages.  Collective agreements are signed for certain periods, usually two to four years. A collective agreement is mandatory for both the employers` organization and its members, the union and its members, on the other.
In addition, a collective agreement is generally also in practice, if not theoretically, for individual non-unionized workers and unionized workers who belong to a union other than the union that are part of the collective agreement, provided that (i) the worker works with collective agreement tasks and (ii) that the union to which the worker is affiliated is not bound by another collective agreement with the employer. In 24 states, workers working in a unionized company may be required to participate in representation fees (for example. B for disciplinary hearings) if their colleagues negotiated a union security clause in their contract with management. The fee is usually 1 to 2% of the salary. However, union members and other employees receive on average a wage increase of 5 to 10% compared to their non-unionized (or unsured) colleagues.  Some states, particularly in the southern parts of the central and southeastern United States, have banned union security clauses; This can be controversial because it allows some net beneficiaries of the union contract to avoid paying their share of the cost of contract negotiations.