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Definition of FEATHERBEDDING
: the requiring of an employer usually under a union rule or safety statute to hire more employees than are needed or to limit production
First Known Use of FEATHERBEDDING
Labour union practices that require the employer to pay for the performance of unnecessary work or to employ workers who are not needed. Featherbedding provisions in labour contracts may result from the continuation of work rules that were once efficient but that have become obsolete. A union may insist on the continuation of such work rules to protect the job security of its members. See alsocollective bargaining.