What Is Sectoral Bargaining?

Sectoral bargaining—also known as multiemployer, industrywide, or broad-based bargaining—is a form of collective bargaining that provides contract coverage and sets compensation floors for most workers in a particular occupation, industry, or region.

While broad-based bargaining can—and sometimes does—occur in the United States, current labor laws emphasize enterprise-based bargaining, in which unions negotiate with individual employers on behalf of a group of workers at a particular worksite. For example, a union might negotiate with a supermarket chain on behalf of workers at a particular store or with a building service company on behalf of janitors in a specific building. With sectoral bargaining, collectively bargained standards extend to every grocery store worker or janitor in the region.

The above excerpt was originally published in CAP Action.