Decentralization has been the main trend in industrial relations since the 1980s and reverses the long-term trend of recent decades, which culminated in the energy and monetary upheavals of the 1970s, when many countries attempted to respond to the pressure on labour costs with an income policy based on central agreements and tripartite social pacts (Addison 1981); Armingeon 1982; Flanagan et al. 1983). Central inter-branch collective agreements ended in the late 1970s or early 1980s in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, some time later in Norway and as a centralised allocation in New Zealand and Australia in the 1990s. They continued in Finland, Belgium and Greece, most often with a lot of help or pressure from the government. Tripartite social pacts and agreements became a model for wage-setting in Ireland from 1987 to 2009, in Portugal in a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, in Slovenia from 1994 and in Romania from 2005. There have never been central collective agreements in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan and other non-European countries. In the 1970s, the UK went through a phase of negotiations on “social contracts” between the union and the government, and in the 1980s, similar social pacts were concluded in Australia, South Korea during the Asian crisis (1997) and Chile after the end of the dictatorship in 1990. Within the UNECE, pacts were rare and the tripartite social dialogue on the national minimum wage, established in many UNECE countries during or after the transition, was sometimes used as a substitute for wage negotiations based on the bargaining power of employers and trade unions. Political and social considerations were often predominant, but employers could take revenge by failing to comply and reorganizing employment contracts into employment contracts outside the scope of the Minimum Wage Act (EC 2004). . . .