An organization whose membership consists of workers and union leaders, united to protect and promote their common interests. The principal purposes of a labor union are to (1) negotiate wages and working condition terms, (2) regulate relations between workers (its members) and the employer, (3) take collective action to enforce the terms of collective bargaining, (4) raise new demands on behalf of its members, and (5) help settle their grievances. A trade union may be: (a) A company union that represents interests of only one company and may not have any connection with other unions. Also called house union, a company union is often a bogus one and generally illegal. (b) A general union that represents workers from several companies in the same industry. Also called industrial union. (c) A craft union that represents skilled workers in a particular field such as carpentry or welding.
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