What is a labor union?

A labor union (also called a trade union) is an organization of workers that is formed to advocate for their collective interests, including wages, hours and working conditions. In a union, democratically elected individuals represent all workers in negotiations with management, making sure that bosses and builders understand the rigors their workers are faced with.

From mechanics to nurses to film actors, unions are often industry-specific and represent millions of workers across every profession. A union is typically structured as a locally based group of employees who obtain a charter from a national union organization. Union leaders are appointed by democratic election, and in employee/employer negotiations, those leaders represent the collective interests of the employees.

As corporate interests place ever more demands on workers, unions exist to advocate for the workforce that forms the backbone of the U.S. economy.

Get details about what unions do in Minnesota by taking a look at these stories: