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Glossary

If you are new to labor unions, there are some terms that you may come across during your research:

Bylaws & Union Constitution
A labor union's set of rules and regulations that all union members must follow.

Collective Bargaining
A complex legal process of negotiating a contract between a company and a labor union which represents a designated group of team members in a "bargaining unit."

Contract
The agreement that a labor union has with a company by which all team members in a designated "bargaining unit" are bound. Contracts typically include clauses like: Super Seniority, Management Rights, Dues Check Off, and Union Recognition.

Dues
One of the costs a union member pays to be in a labor union.  Dues are often the equivalent of two (or more) hours of pay each month and can total hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each year.

Dues Check Off
A contract clause that enables a labor union to automatically receive dues from its members through a paycheck deduction. Here is an example of a “Dues Check Off” clause from a real union contract: "The health care system agrees that during the period of this Agreement, it will deduct from the pay of each team member in the bargaining unit such Union initiation fees and membership dues as may be duly levied."

Labor Union
An organization formed under the National Labor Relations Act that is certified as the legal representative for a group of team members in a "bargaining unit." Labor unions collect dues from their members.

LM-2
A financial statement that labor unions are required to file annually with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Management Rights
A contract clause that expressly identifies a company’s power to allocate its resources, manage its facilities, and direct its workforce.  Management rights clauses often include the right to hire, promote, transfer, demote, and lay off team members, as well as the right to adopt and modify policies, rules, and regulations governing safety, performance, procedures and the right to subcontract or contract out work.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
The NLRA was established in 1935 and was adopted to protect "the legitimate rights of both team members and employers in their relations affecting commerce, to provide orderly and peaceful procedures for preventing the interference by either with the legitimate rights of the other, to protect the rights of individual employees in their relations with labor organizations...and to protect the rights of the public in connection with labor disputes affecting commerce." - NLRB Rules and Regulations

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
The NLRB is an agency of the federal government that was established to enforce the NLRA.

Union Penalties
Most labor union bylaws contain clauses that allow a union to put its members on trial and penalize them if they violate the union’s rules or regulations.  If found guilty, union members may be obligated to pay a fine or fee to the union.

Union Security Clause
A contract clause that could require all team members in the "bargaining unit" to pay dues and/or fees to a designated labor union in conjunction with their employment.  A Union Security Clause could allow the union to demand that a company fire any team member who fails to pay dues and/or fees to the union.  Union Security Clauses are permitted in certain states, such as California and Colorado, but are unlawful in other states, such as Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming.

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