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Indispensable for improving work, working conditions and income


The consultation between trade unions, employers and government on socio-economic issues is called social dialogue. According to CNV Internationaal, social dialogue is indispensable in the workplace. 

Social dialogue includes all forms of negotiation (such as collective bargaining). But also, for example, consultation and exchanging information on socio-economic topics are forms of social dialogue.


Bipartite and tripartite

The interlocutors of the social dialogue are usually: representatives of the government, trade unions and employers' organisations. When all three sit around the table, we call it tripartite consultation. When only the social partners (employers and trade unions) sit together, this is called bipartite consultation.


Video the value of social dialogue

Conditions for a successful social dialogue


  • Strong trade unions (and employer organisations), 
  • Access to relevant information, political support 
  • Respect for core labour standards, 
  • Freedom of association 
  • Freedom to negotiate decent working conditions.


What we do: dual motivation


CNV International promotes social dialogue from a double motivation. As a goal in itself to strengthen cohesion within a company, sector and society and as a sustainable instrument to improve the quality of work, working conditions and income through collective agreements at national, sector and company level. 

Social dialogue facilitates joint outcomes between workers and employers in a peaceful and thus sustainable way. This requires strong partners, both on the employers' and employees' side. 

Dialogue based on respect prevents labour unrest and thus promotes the investment climate and sustainable economic and social development.

Video: Social dialogue leads to sustainable multicompany collective agreements

Multi-company collective bargaining agreements

What we do: A social dialogue process leads to good agreements that are laid down in multi-company collective agreements, a good win-win situation.

Freedom of association

For CNV International, an important requirement in social dialogue is freedom of choice. In consultations and in delegations, CNV Internationaal wants workers to be free to join an independent trade union of their choice and wants trade unions of different sorts to be involved in consultations at different levels. 

The importance of consultation structures


At global level, the trade union movement is still far from being heard when it comes to important socio-economic issues (such as combating poverty). In order to change this, CNV Internationaal raises the importance of consultative structures in strategic places. 

CNV does this by participating whenever possible in bi- and tripartite consultations where international issues are discussed. For example, the tripartite consultations of the International Labour Organisation ILO (a UN agency) and the annual conference of the ILO.

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