Industrial relations refers to relationships between employers and workers. In common parlance, the term is particularly associated with workers’ collective activity in trade unions and the exercise of overt conflict, most notably by workers in the form of strikes, picketing, and work-to-rules, although employers’ lockouts of workers and explicit resistance to trade unions’ attempts to recruit workers are also significant. Trade unions are associations of workers that provide a distinctive form of empowerment, as they are independent of management and have an existence beyond the boundaries of the organization. In most countries, trade union rights are protected by the state, although this protection may take a variety of forms. Trade union rights may be part of a country’s constitution, as is the case, for example, ...

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