National Collective Bargaining Agreements
In Finland, collective agreements are of general application. This means that a collective agreement in an industry becomes a general legal minimum for an individual`s employment contract, whether or not he or she is unionized. For this condition to apply, half of the workers in this sector must be unionized and therefore support the agreement. In September 2011, Silvio Berlusconi`s government introduced a law allowing enterprise agreements not only to adopt less favourable conditions than those set out in inter-professional agreements, regardless of what the inter-professional agreements themselves have said, but also to under-break the minimum conditions set by national legislation on a number of issues.  These include working time, flexibility of employment contracts, recruitment procedures, work organisation and job classification, as well as the introduction of new technologies. As a general rule, the current national collective agreements (if they exist – under Italian law, except in some limited cases, do not provide for an obligation to regulate labour relations by a collective agreement), provide for annual leave for more than the minimum period of four weeks set by Italian law. As the examples above have shown, unionized workers, who have high density in a sector, occupation, sector or employer, can overcome barriers to broader negotiations as individual labour relations and make significant profits at the bargaining table with their employers – benefits that do not only benefit workers directly covered by the collective agreement , but also to raise wages and set standards for non-union workers in the region. The resulting national labour law reforms would strengthen workers` bargaining power and allow them to continue to negotiate and set standards in their profession, sector or industry. Recently, the union concluded negotiations for some 75,000 commercial cleaners on the East Coast. The New York agreement alone involves 22,000 commercial cleaners.32 The union negotiates with a multi-employer association or with employer groups, and its agreements bind signatory employers in all cities where the union has local agreements. In other words, in the New York agreement, for example, New York employers agree to abide by the Philadelphia collective agreement when they work in Philadelphia.
In recent negotiations, SEIU Local 32BJ has gained substantial wage increases, pension improvements, new protection against sexual harassment and much more. Employers also agreed to a union recognition procedure for cleaners in Miami, opening the door to extending the protection of collective agreements to 1,500 additional building cleaners in miami. In Philadelphia, SEIU Local 32BJ committed and won the passage of regulations introducing a minimum wage and paid sick days for employees of contractors at Philadelphia International Airport. The union was later recognized as a representative of 1,400 employees of Prospect Airport Services and PrimeFlight Aviation Services, who work as baggage handlers, wheelchairs, cabin cleaners and more. 38 The negotiating framework put in place in 1993 was put under pressure in the middle of the nine years, with employers calling for greater decentralisation of negotiations and greater importance for collective bargaining at the enterprise level. A number of regulatory review agreements followed. However, with the three main federations initially having divergent positions, two important agreements were signed in 2009 only by CISL and UIL on the trade union side. This is a contrast to the past, where collective bargaining rules were largely defined by unions and employers themselves and the role of government was limited.  However, it seems that it is no longer just legislation to enforce national agreements between the main trade union confederations and the main employers` organisations.