union u‧nion [ˈjuːnjən] noun
1. [countable] an organization formed by workers to protect their rights:

• If you decide to join the union you are encouraged to play an active part and to ensure your views are represented.

• a union agreement (= an agreement between a union and management about wages, conditions etc )

ˌcompany ˈunion
HUMAN RESOURCES a trade union established by a company for its workers, which is usually not part of the official trade union system:

• Under pressure from the company union, Toyota has promised to reduce work schedules.

ˈcraft ˌunion [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES ORGANIZATIONS
a trade union whose members all work in skilled jobs that involve making or doing things with their hands
ˈcredit ˌunion [countable] especially AmE FINANCE ORGANIZATIONS
an organization formed by a group of people working for the same company who save money together so that members can borrow at lower interest rates than at banks; = credit society Bre:

• an unofficial credit union where people group together to help each other with major purchases

ˌgeneral ˈunion [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES ORGANIZATIONS
a trade union whose members have different jobs in many different industries:

• The GMB is a general union, which means that anyone can join it.

ˌtrade ˈunion also ˌtrades ˈunion , ˈlabor ˌunion HUMAN RESOURCES ORGANIZATIONS
an organization representing people working in a particular industry or profession that protects their rights:

• The European Convention on Human Rights declared that everyone had a right to join a trade union.

• How has trade union membership changed in recent years?

• TGWU, the transport union

— trade unionist , trades unionist noun [countable] :

• She was an active trade unionist and had lately been elected a shop steward.

2. [countable] a group of countries with the same central government:

• the former Soviet Union

3. [uncountable] the act of joining two or more things together or the state of being joined together:

• The countries of the EU are in a process of ever closer economic and political union.

— see also credit union, customs union
— unionist noun [countable] :

• unionist leaders

* * *

union UK US /ˈjuːnjən/ noun
[C] (UK also trade union, US also labor union) HR, WORKPLACE an organization that represents the people who work in a particular industry, protects their rights and may agree pay, working conditions, etc. with their employers: »

""No date has yet been set for a strike, the union said in a statement to the press this morning.


The unions are on strike over wage concerns.


The political activity of each affiliated union is highly regulated by statute.


a union spokesman/delegate/negotiator


public-sector/public-employee/state-worker unions


civil-service/white-collar/blue-collar unions

join/belong to a union »

The new generation of workers is less likely to join a union.

[C] a group of two or more countries that work together or that have the same government: »

the European Union

[S or U] the act of joining two or more things together, or the state of being joined together: »

Both bosses had a financial interest in making the merger work, as the success of the union of their two companies showed.


economic/political/monetary union

See also COMPANY UNION(Cf. ↑company union), CRAFT UNION(Cf. ↑craft union), CREDIT UNION(Cf. ↑credit union), CUSTOMS UNION(Cf. ↑customs union), ENTERPRISE UNION(Cf. ↑enterprise union), EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION(Cf. ↑European Monetary Union), THE EUROPEAN UNION(Cf. ↑the European Union), GENERAL UNION(Cf. ↑general union), HORIZONTAL UNION(Cf. ↑horizontal union), LABOR UNION(Cf. ↑labor union), NON-UNION(Cf. ↑non-union), TRADE UNION(Cf. ↑trade union)

Financial and business terms. 2012.