Any place of work, such as a factory or an office, where all workers within a section must belong to a single, officially-recognized trade union. The term is also used where a particular task is permitted to be carried out only by a person holding certain qualifications.
Closed-shop agreements may be negotiated between trade unions and management. Trade unions have favoured them because 100% union membership gave them greater industrial power. Management may have found them convenient because they could deal with workers through group collective bargaining
rather than having to negotiate with individual workers.
The closed shop was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights 1981. In the USA the closed shop was made illegal by the TaftHartley Act 1947, passed by Congress over President Truman's veto. One of the last examples of the closed shop in the UK was the acting profession where actors were required to be a member of the actors' union Equity.
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