In addition, there are generally binding collective agreements. These important agreements also bind disorganized employers and workers who work for them. Portuguese law distinguishes three types of collective agreements according to the nature of the signatories on the employer side (Article 2, Collective Labour Relations Act): association agreements negotiated by employers` organisations; multi-employer agreements negotiated by a number of employers who, whether or not they are members of employer organizations, do not act through any association to negotiate the agreement in question; Agreements concluded at the company level by a single employer. This distinction is used by law to resolve specific conflicts between collective agreements (see also collective bargaining: level of bargaining, instruments of collective labour regulation). Another legal distinction, based on the different nature of the scope of collective agreements, is defined by horizontal and vertical agreements (see below). Disability both employers and employees, whether individually or represented by trade unions and employers` organizations, have the right to take action in labour courts to request all the clauses of collective labour regulatory agreements that they consider invalid (Article 43, Collective Work Act). The general term refers to agreements between unions and employers or employers` organizations (see ability to enter into collective agreements) to regulate both individual labour relations and relationships established directly between the signatory parties (see below, content). The Portuguese Constitution lays the groundwork for the legal institutionalization of collective bargaining by giving trade unions the power to exercise the right to negotiate (Article 56, paragraph 3, paragraph 4). The normative effects of collective agreements are expressly recognized by law (Article 12, Employment Contracts Act), which is one of the sources of employment contract law (see sources of labour law).
Thus, the provisions of collective agreements apply directly to individual labour relations and replace all contractual conditions less favourable to the workers concerned. Before the union can enter into collective bargaining, it must be certified by the Labour Council. In a short period of time after the certification is received, the union will begin collective bargaining (or negotiations) with the employer. The aim of the negotiations is to reach agreement on the many issues that can be included in the agreement. One area of the ongoing conflict between unions and employers is that wage increases are mandatory bargaining partners. In Acme Die Casting v. NLRB, 26 F.3d 162 (D.C. Cir. 1994), the Court of Appeal analyzed the employer`s historical practice of determining the frequency and size of wage increases and found that the issue of granting a wage increase is not left to the employer`s discretion and cannot be decided without negotiation with the union. Since 2003, the U.S.
Supreme Court has failed to resolve whether wage increases are mandatory collective bargaining issues, so federal appels courts have developed their own rules to address this issue. If an employer does not exercise discretion to determine the date or amount of the wage increase, the issue of wage increases is a matter of collective bargaining. NLRB v. Beverly Enter.-Mass., Inc., 174 F.3d 13 (1st Cir. 1999). Even if an employer exercises some discretion in setting wage increases, such as an annual increase to cover the cost of living, this circumstance does not prevent wage increases from becoming a subject of duty if the company has long been granting such wage increases.