union shop

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A union shop is a place of employment where employees are required, as a condition of their continued employment, to have membership in a labor union. See: National Labor Relations Act, §§ 8, 14(b), as amended, 29 U.S.C.A. §§ 158, 164(b). Although the non-union workers are not required to be a member of a union before they are hired, they generally must join a labor union within a limited number of days, usually 30 days. 

A union shop agreement clause authorizes the bargaining representative to demand the discharge of an employee who refuses to join the union. National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.

The union cannot, however, require that an employee become a member “in good standing,” or, in other words, require an employee to do more than payment of dues or the equivalent. This payment of dues is asserted in a union security agreement.

“Right-to-work” laws prohibit and invalidate union security agreements and union shops.

[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]