The second, or external, level of employee representation is through the trade
Generally, there is one union for each major sector of industry,
mirrored by a corresponding employers’ association. The two sides represent
employees and employers in the regularly recurring industry-wide negotiations
on wage levels, other benefits and on working conditions. These agreements run
for between one and two years.
In theory, they are negotiated separately for
each province, although, in practice, one province is often chosen by mutual
consensus as a pilot, and the agreement reached there is then adopted
throughout the rest of the country with only very little modification.