Craft Union Law and Legal Definition

A craft union is a union whose membership is restricted to workers possessing a particular skill. Most craft unions today, however, have broadened their membership to include many occupations and skills not closely related to the originally named craft. They derive their power from their control over the supply of skilled labor in a particular industry.

Common examples of craft unions are for plumbers, carpenters, and musicians. Craft unions generally exert market control by limiting the number of suppliers. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was initially a collection of craft unions. This is also referred to as a trade union.