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Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining: What Types of Pay Bargaining Can Foster Positive Pay Equity Outcomes?



Using data from interviews and collective agreements in five European countries, this article analyses the relationship between collective bargaining and the minimum wage. In a context of changing minimum wage policy and competing government objectives, the findings illuminate how pay bargaining strategies of trade unions and employers shape the pay equity effects of minimum wage policy. Two general forms are identified: direct responses to a changing national minimum wage, and responses to the absence or weakness of a national minimum wage. The article explains how particular intersections of minimum wage policy and collective bargaining, together with country and sector contingencies, shape the form of pay bargaining and pay equity outcomes.