Labor Union


DEFINITION of 'Labor Union'

An organization intended to represent the collective interests of workers in negotiations with employers over wages, hours and working conditions. Labor unions are often industry-specific and tend to be more common in manufacturing, mining, construction, transportation and the public sector.


Labor union representation in the United States has declined significantly in the private sector. It is commonly believed that union security clauses compel workers to join unions and pay full dues as a condition of employment, but it is actually illegal for a union to force an employee into full union membership.

Well-known American labor unions include the American Postal Worker's Union, the Screen Actor's Guild, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Education Association, the United Auto Workers and the United Steel Workers.

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