labor union

noun

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

And in another decision, the highest court of the land dealt a serious blow to government labor unions. Fox News, "Gorka, Hollman preview Trump's upcoming summit with Putin," 30 June 2018 The next day, the high court delivered a major setback to labor unions, ruling that government employees can’t be forced to pay union dues. BostonGlobe.com, "For Democrats, justice’s retirement is the cruelest twist," 29 June 2018 The Supreme Court today dealt a big setback to labor unions, ruling that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to unions that represent them in collective bargaining. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Get lost in Seattle’s map of ‘high weirdness,’ Supreme Court deals blow to labor unions | Wednesday Morning Brief, June 27," 27 June 2018 About 20,000 Marriott workers are represented by labor union Unite Here. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Why Thousands of Marriott Employees Are Protesting Tomorrow," 26 June 2018 Some critics accused Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari of bowing to pressure from labor unions concerned that more free trade would hurt local industries and cause job losses. Emele Onu, Bloomberg.com, "Nigeria Manufacturing Body Opposes African Free Trade Area," 26 June 2018 Other variables include whether the city would be forced to pay penalties and interest and how large those amounts would be, and what the city might owe in attorney’s fees to the labor unions that filed the suit challenging the pension cutbacks. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Supreme Court questions legality of San Diego pension cuts during oral arguments," 29 May 2018 Without federal laws, labor unions would thrive, and rightfully so. Nick Hoppe, SFChronicle.com, "In defense of government interference," 21 May 2018 Since 2010, labor unions have sent more than $1.1 billion in member dues to liberal advocacy groups aligned with the Democratic Party. Richard Berman, Fortune, "Commentary: 40% of Union Members Vote Republican. So Why Does 99% of Union Advocacy Money Go to Liberal Groups?," 17 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of labor union

1849, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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The first known use of labor union was in 1849

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More Definitions for labor union

labor union

noun

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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of labor union

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

labor union

noun

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

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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