Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 May 2022
This chapter analyses the evolution of International Labour Organization (ILO) standards governing who is entitled to claim collective labour rights. It argues that the personal scope of such rights extends beyond ‘the standard employment relationship’, with implications for the scope of competition law. The first part analyses treatment of freedom of association and collective bargaining in constitutional and other declaratory ILO instruments, identifying the broad protectorate of these entitlements, reflecting the desire to promote equality and resist commodification of labour. These constitutional norms have been further reinforced by proposals for a universal labour guarantee and acknowledgement of the role of collective voice in promoting sustainability. The second part examines fundamental ILO Conventions Nos 87 and 98 on the right to organise and collective bargaining, Recommendation No. 198 on the employment relationship and the findings of ILO supervisory bodies which apply these standards in a manner consistent with established constitutional norms. While supervisory bodies encourage states to consult with social partners to modify existing collective bargaining systems to reflect the needs of ‘self-employed workers’, this should be understood less as a concession to managerial prerogative, but more as promotion of reform protecting the vulnerable in a changing world of work.