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 Complications, or pushback, could start in Europe, where labor unions have already expressed concerns. Eric D. Lawrence, USA TODAY, "What is PSA Groupe? As Fiat Chrysler talks merger with Peugeot maker, here's what to know," 30 Oct. 2019 The tech giants aggressively fought the legislation but Democratic lawmakers showed no shyness in taking on the companies that call Silicon Valley home, making the calculation that labor unions were a more powerful political ally. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California relishes role as liberal trendsetter, Trump foe," 20 Oct. 2019 Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn., a labor union that represents air traffic controllers hired by the FAA, said on Tuesday that Duran does not hold an office that allows him to speak on behalf of the union. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, "Tweets posted on Burbank air traffic controller’s account offend community groups," 15 Oct. 2019 In this case, employees at Caviar are wrestling with the realization that, in the absence of a proper labor union for tech workers, employers can mistreat workers, and there is little to no recourse available beyond leaving the company. Natt Garun, The Verge, "Caviar employees claim DoorDash and Square are mistreating them over acquisition offers," 14 Aug. 2019 That proposition would meet with fierce resistance from labor unions, which also oppose the breakup plan. Washington Post, "Why Eskom’s Power Crisis Is South Africa’s Top Risk," 18 Sep. 2019 Supporters include labor unions, nuclear power advocates and local officials from areas near the nuclear plants. Andrew J. Tobias,, "The fight to repeal Ohio’s nuclear bailout law has heated up to unprecedented levels. But why?," 12 Sep. 2019 Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service's labor union, unleashed a scathing response on social media. Author: Jason Samenow, Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "NOAA’s support of Trump over its own scientists in hurricane map dispute provokes uproar," 7 Sep. 2019 Here Local 2, the labor union that represents cafeteria workers at some tech companies, is negotiating an agreement with other tech firms that would unionize their workers. Trisha Thadani,, "SF tech firm ‘cafeteria ban’ on hold as union seeks to organize workers," 4 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of labor union

1849, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of labor union was in 1849

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Statistics for labor union

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Labor union.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

US : 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

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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

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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