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Arkansas Unions: What you need to know

Arkansas has relatively little say in the regulation of labor unions. This is because most of the protections given to labor organizations are contained in the federal National Labor Relations Act,. This law is “preemptive,” which means that it overrides state law in the areas it covers, which include almost all of private employment. But in the areas it does not cover, such as the rights of public employees and the rights of private employees who are not engaged in interstate commerce, states are free to make their own provisions.
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Amendment 34 to the Arkansas Constitution states that it is the public policy of Arkansas that organized labor is free to bargain collectively and that unorganized labor may bargain individually (AR Code Sec. 11-3-301; AR Const. Amend. 34, Sec. 1).
The Arkansas "right to work" law states that no person may be denied employment because of their membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with, a labor union. In addition, it is unlawful for a person to be compelled to pay dues or other monetary consideration to any labor organization as a prerequisite to or a condition of employment or to continue employment (AR Code Sec. 11-3-303). Contracts designed to exclude any person from employment on the basis of their membership or nonmembership in a labor union are also unlawful (AR Code Sec. 11-3-304).
The practical effect of this law is to ban union contracts calling for closed shops (in which only union members may be hired), union shops (in which new hires must join the union within some specified period of time), agency shops (in which employees must join the union or pay an amount in lieu of union dues to cover ...

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