Closed Shop at Work

What does it mean if a company informs you that you can be hired there under a ‘closed shop’ arrangement? According to a closed shop policy, all employees of the organization must be members of a ‘union’ as a precondition. They also must remain members during the entire time they are working in there. Naturally, employees must obey the union’s rules and manners such as paying monthly membership dues and accepting the salary or working conditions that union leaders set.

In many countries today, closed shop organizations are prohibited. In contrast to closed shop organization is the ‘open shop’ that doesn’t require candidates to join any union before or during the employment. In some industries – like the construction industry – employers are allowed to hire only the members of the related unions, but these unions usually refer to employees’ rights rather than employers’. In these cases, unions provide a pool of job seekers who have completed necessary programs. Yet, in most industries, such agreements are illegal.