Organized Labor

DEFINITION of 'Organized Labor'

An association of workers united as a single, representative entity for the purpose of improving the workers' economic status and working conditions through collective bargaining with employers. Also known as "unions". There are two types: the horizontal union, in which all members share a common skill, and the vertical union, composed of workers from across the same industry.

BREAKING DOWN 'Organized Labor'

The union formation process in most countries is regulated by a government agency, such as the National Labor Relations Board in the United States. The group of employees wanting to form a union usually need a set amount of signatures, this amount is dependent on the jurisdiction it wants to form in. If enough signatures are obtained there is a vote by all employees and if passed the union will negotiate on their behalf with the employers.

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