Labor Unions


Main Idea

A labor union is an organization that seeks to Increase the wages and Improve the working conditions of its members.

Key Terms labor union, closed shop, union shop, rlght-to-work laws, modified union shop, collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration, strike, lockout

Reading Strategy

Organizing Information As you read the section, complete a diagram like the one below by Identifying three kinds of union arrangements.

Read to Learn

■ What are the different types of unions?

• How are negotiation® between unions and management conducted?

—-The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California).

December 21.2001

Union workers

Organized Labor

Some workers choose to organize. They join together to form labor unions, groups of workers who band together to have a better chance to obtain higher pay and better working conditions. Only about 14 percent of American workers belong to unions. Still, unions play an important role in the nation's economy and political life.

Types of Unions

There are two types of unions. Workers who perform the same skills join together in a craft or trade union. Examples are the printers union or the plumbers union. Some unions bring together different types of workers who all belong to the same industry. These are called industrial unions. An example is the United Auto Workers, which includes many different kinds of workers in the auto industry.

Til the past, unions were formed mainly by workers in heavy industry. Today, chough, people in jobs as different as airline workers, teachers, and professional athletes belong to unions.

48G Chapter 22 Business and Labor

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