labor union


Definition of labor union 

: an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions members of a labor union with job protection under a collective bargaining agreement with the employer— Seth Sandronsky

Examples of labor union in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If Buckeye Relief's license is put on hold, 50 to 75 construction workers - most who are represented by labor unions - will be sent home. Andrew J. Tobias,, "Mike DeWine raised $1 million in 72 hours following his GOP primary win, his campaign says," 14 May 2018 In an acceptance speech before a crowd of supporters here on Tuesday night, Mr. Pritzker, 53, called for universal health care, fair wages, protections for labor unions and the legalization of marijuana. Julie Bosman And Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker to Face Off in Illinois," 20 Mar. 2018 Terms vary for the various labor unions that work within the district, but typically, School District employees are paid out for 100 percent of their unused personal time and 25 percent of their unused sick time during their tenure., "A 2-year wait for retirement pay? Philly schools have a backlog of millions," 8 Jan. 2018 Some labor union leaders see this ruling with a silver lining, though, arguing that union members may double down and mobilize workers who feel their benefits and securities are under attack. Tauhid Chappell,, "Supreme Courts decision could affect Pennsylvania politics, two casinos open in Atlantic city | Morning Newsletter," 28 June 2018 Edgemoor officials were scheduled to meet with labor union leaders later on Thursday. Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "Opening of new KCI terminal, originally November 2021, is already delayed," 14 June 2018 The commission includes Beacon Hill lawmakers, fire officials, a labor union officials, and a private project manager. Danny Mcdonald,, "Relatives of two Boston firefighters killed in Back Bay blaze to testify on ‘hot work’ bill on Beacon Hill," 11 July 2018 The state's public sector union membership in labor unions has grown during the last four decades, even as private sector union membership has shrunk. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Now they have a choice. Will California teachers and cops stay in their unions?," 1 July 2018 Well before his election, Mr. Macron displayed a penchant for sounding dismissive and unsympathetic when talking to unemployed people, labor union members and retirees. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, "That’s ‘Mr. President’ to You: Macron Scolds French Student," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'labor union.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of labor union

1849, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about labor union

Share labor union

Statistics for labor union

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for labor union

The first known use of labor union was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for labor union

labor union


Financial Definition of labor union

What It Is

A labor union is an organization that advocates for workers' rights and benefits through collective bargaining.

How It Works

Labor unions represent workers in both the public and private sector. Individual labor unions represent workers in specific industries and function in an intermediary capacity between employers and employees. Unions negotiate directly with employers on employees' behalf with regard to compensation, conditions and working hours.

Workers employed by transportation, shipping and manufacturing companies typically maintain contracts with labor unions. The unions agree to engage employers in collective bargaining in return for union dues withheld from payroll. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Steel Workers are two prominent labor unions in the United States.

Why It Matters

Labor unions protect workers from exploitation and ensure fairness of pay as well as safe, reasonable working conditions. Many economists argue that labor unions have a distortive effect on the labor market that results in decreased efficiency.

Source: Investing Answers

labor union


English Language Learners Definition of labor union

: an organization of workers formed to protect the rights and interests of its members

labor union


Kids Definition of labor union

: an organization of workers formed to help them get better pay and working conditions

Keep scrolling for more

labor union


Legal Definition of labor union 

: a labor organization usually consisting of workers of the same trade that is formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests (as through collective bargaining) in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions — see also craft union, bargaining unit

Note: Labor unions and employers are subject to the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Wagner Act), as amended by the Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure (Landrum-Griffin) Act. The NLRA authorized the establishment of the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency which administers the provisions of the Act.

More from Merriam-Webster on labor union

Spanish Central: Translation of labor union

Nglish: Translation of labor union for Spanish Speakers

Comments on labor union

What made you want to look up labor union? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!