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A closed shop refers to a business or organization in which all employees are required to become union members as a precondition of employment. A related term, a union shop, refers to businesses or organizations in which employees are not required to be union members when they are initially hired but must become union members shortly after being hired in order to maintain their jobs. In contrast to a closed shop, an open shop is a business or organization that does not provide any preferential treatment to union members in the hiring process. This entry looks at the history of closed shops, which have been illegal for several decades, and current union-related hiring practices.

Historical Background

In the late 19th and early 20th century, closed shops ...

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