labor union

noun
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

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

First Known Use of labor union

1849


Financial Definition of LABOR UNION

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.


LABOR UNION Defined for English Language Learners

labor union

noun

Definition of labor union for English Language Learners

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


LABOR UNION Defined for Kids

labor union

noun

Definition of labor union for Students

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

Law Dictionary

labor union

noun

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.

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