A collective agreement is a written contract between an employer and a union representing workers. The KBA is the result of a broad negotiation process between the parties on issues such as wages, hours and terms of employment. It is important to note that after the conclusion of a KBA, both the employer and the union are required to respect this agreement. Therefore, an employer should retain the assistance of a lawyer before participating in collective bargaining. The right to bargain collectively with an employer strengthens the human dignity, freedom and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the definition of labour rules and thus gain some control over an important aspect of their lives, namely their work… Collective bargaining is not just a tool for pursuing external objectives… Rather, it is an experience as an experience of self-management that is in itself valuable… Collective bargaining enables workers to achieve some form of democracy in the workplace and to guarantee the rule of law in the workplace. Workers gain a voice to influence the definition of rules that control an important aspect of their lives.  In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act (1935) covers most collective agreements in the private sector. The Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy, harass or terminate workers because of their union membership or to retaliate for organizing campaigns or other “concerted activities,” creating business unions or refusing to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees. It is also illegal to require any worker to join a union as a condition of employment.  Trade unions are also able to ensure safe working conditions and adequate remuneration for their work.
In Sweden, the scope of collective agreements is very high, although there are no legal mechanisms to extend agreements to entire industrial sectors. In 2018, 83% of all private sector employees were subject to collective agreements, 100% of public sector employees and 90% in total (compared to the overall labour market).  This reflects the predominance of self-regulation (regulation by the labour market parties themselves) over state regulation in Swedish industrial relations.  Executive Order (EO) 13836, Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining, signed by the President on May 25, 2018, requires agencies to submit any long-term collective agreement (CBA) and its expiry date within 30 days of the CBA`s entry into force. EO 13836 also requires OPM to make these CBAs available to the public on the internet. This promotes transparency by allowing the public to consult the types of agreements between federal agencies and industry unions. Agencies are also required to submit arbitration awards to OPM within 10 business days of receipt. OPM has issued a memorandum on the publication of the CBA database, which contains guidelines on agency requirements for CBAs and arbitration awards.