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Definition of UNION SHOP
: an establishment in which the employer by agreement is free to hire nonmembers as well as members of the union but retains nonmembers on the payroll only on condition of their becoming members of the union within a specified time
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.