Union Glossary

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A method of settling a labor- management dispute by having an impartial third party decide the issue. (the decision of the third party is usually binding)



A concentrated refusal to work for, purchase from, or handle the products of an employer because of a labor dispute.


Bargaining Unit

A group of workers who bargain collectively with an employer.



An informal meeting of the bargaining team to discuss, clarify, or solidify positions on the issues at hand.


Closed Shop

An agreement between an employer and a union that, as a condition of employment , all employees must belong to the union.


Collective Bargaining

A process which workers, through their bargaining committee, work as a group to determine wages, benefits, and other conditions of employment.

( The result of collective bargaining is a written contract between the workers and the employer.)


FLSA-Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

Federal Wage-Hour law which establishes minimum wage, maximum weekly hours, and overtime pay requirements in industries engaged in interstate commerce. The law also prohibited the labor of children under 16 years of age.


Good Faith Bargaining

Negotiations in which two parties meet and confer at reasonable times with open minds and the intention of reaching agreement over a new contract.



Any type of worker dissatisfaction including violations of the collective bargaining agreement, violations of law, violations of policies, violations of fair treatment, and violations of past established practices.


Grievance Procedure

A procedure established by a collective bargaining agreement to resolve disputes, problems, or violations of bargaining unit contracts.



A term referring to a situation where two parties (union and management) cannot agree on a solution to a dispute. In legal usage, if impasse is reached while bargaining, the employer is legally permitted to impose its latest offer.


Informational Picketing

Picketing done with the express intent not to cause a work stoppage, but to publicize a labor dispute or information concerning the dispute.


Just Cause

A reason an employer must give to the union for any disciplinary action it takes against an employee.



A suspension of work initiated by the employer as a result of a labor dispute. Used to pressure employees to accept the employers offer.


NLRA- National Labor Relations Act of 1935

Federal law guaranteeing workers the right to participate in unions without management reprisal.


NLRB- National Labor Relations Board

Agency whose functions are to define appropriate bargaining units, hold elections, certify unions, interpret and apply provisions prohibiting unfair labor practices, and administer National Labor Relations Act.



Formal approval of a newly negotiated agreement by vote of the union members affected.



A term used for a person who refused to honor a strike, and crosses a picket line.



A worker’s length of employment with an employer relative to the length of employment of other workers.



In practice, members of the union movement agree to help one another in their struggle for fair wages, safe working conditions, better benefits, and human rights.



Front line union representative who represents other workers on the job, enforces contract, and files grievances.

Union Security Clause

A provision in a collective bargaining agreement designed to protect the institutional life of the union.



A number of persons associated together for a common purpose.


Union Dues

Regular payment by the members of their union for the purposes of collective bargaining. The amount is set by the union constitution or bylaws.

Weingarten Rights

The rights of employees covered by the NLRA to request union representation during investigatory interviews, if they reasonably believe that the interview could result in disciplinary action.