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How Are Unions Organized?

Unions can be organized in several ways.  First, employees may “self-organize” by forming their own union and act as their own representatives.  Second, employees may decide to elect an already existing union (such as the American Federation of Teachers, or “AFT”) as its “exclusive bargaining agent.”  The latter is more typical but there are advantages to both.  Self-organization means employees will have greater say over what happens in collective bargaining and in day-to-day issues that come up when working with the employer.  However, joining an existing union allows employees access to greater resources, expertise, and support (e.g., strike benefits, research that can be useful to negotiations, legal counsel).

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by Kercher, Stephen E last modified Mar 05, 2010 12:05 PM