What are unions and How do unions improve economic and social conditions on the job?

A union (short for trade or labor union) is an association of workers established to improve economic and social conditions on the job.

A trade union helps its members get fair salaries and working conditions through a process called collective bargaining with the employer. If the union and the employer cannot agree, a union may conduct a strike against the employer.

In a strike, the union workers refuse to work until the employer meets their demands or works out a compromise. In the United States, unions also often engage in political activities such as lobbying, or pushing, for laws and supporting political candidates favorable to labor.

Many unions provide insurance protection and other benefits to members and their families.