Freedom of association ensures that workers and employers can unite to negotiate labour relations effectively. With strong freedom of association, healthy collective bargaining ensures that employers and workers are on an equal, fair and fair footing in negotiations. Collective bargaining allows both parties to negotiate a fair working relationship and avoid costly social conflicts. Indeed, some studies have shown that countries with highly coordinated collective bargaining tend to have less wage inequality, lower and less persistent unemployment, and shorter strikes than countries with less established collective bargaining. Good collective bargaining has sometimes been an element that has enabled some countries to overcome the passing financial crises. ILO standards promote collective bargaining and help ensure that good working relationships benefit all. Freedom of Association Committee Decision Collection: eCompilation (NORMLEX) and PDF version Reports of the Committee on Freedom of Association since 1952 (PDF) General Survey on Fundamental Conventions (2012) ILO Thematic Page on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations (INWORK).