A union is an agent or intermediary between an organization and its employees. A union seeks to “organize” employees, that is, to encourage the employees to authorize the union to represent them. If the union obtains this authorization, then management must bargain with the union with regard to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment of its employees. In the absence of a union, the employer may separately establish the terms and conditions for each employee. The right of workers in private employment to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and related federal laws. Connecticut has its own Labor Relations Act (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-101 et seq.). The Connecticut law does not apply to any employer who is subject to the federal law, unless the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has declined jurisdiction. The NLRA is preemptive, meaning that it supersedes state law in the areas it covers. However, in areas not covered by the NLRA, such as the rights of public employees and the rights of private employees who are not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions. There is more information on the federal labor law.