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Arrangement under which workers are required to join a particular union within a specified period of time after beginning employment. Such an arrangement differs from the closed shop in that the employer's choice of new employees is not restricted to union members. Advocates of the union shop argue that it prevents workers from enjoying the benefits of unionism without bearing their share of the costs. Union shops are uncommon in most countries, but they are both legal and common in the U.S. and Japan. In the U.S., workers in an enterprise usually choose, by majority vote, a single union to represent them, though in some states right-to-work laws prohibit requiring union membership as a condition of employment, thus forbidding both the union shop and the closed shop.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on union shop, visit Britannica.com.