Definitions

pay dues

Union dues

Members of most labor unions in the United States pay a portion of their wages to their local to support the union's internal government, pay for any legal representation, and contribute to a strike fund. Many unions also spend some of their members' dues to lobby and campaign for politicians they support.

All active members of a given union pay dues, which are sometimes source deducted by the employer and remitted directly to the international office of the union, which keeps a portion and sends the rest on to the local union office. Just as common is the local union collects the dues and remits a portion to the international union.

In collective bargaining agreements, the wage level is typically prescribed on the basis of seniority and attained education and rank. For instance, a journeyman makes more money than an apprentice. The dues are typically a percentage of gross wages but may also involve set rates per hour plus contributions to certain funds operated by the international, or local union office.

Some labor organizations, such as the Industrial Workers of the World, are constitutionally prohibited from allowing an employer to handle their dues collection.

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