A sweetheart agreement, or sweetheart contract, is an agreement between a union official and an employer. In this agreement, the employer receives favorable treatment from a union official without the consent of other union members.

Sweetheart agreements are usually made at the local level between employers and employees. They include clauses that are advantageous to the employer and made without recognition from the union that represents the employees. These private arrangements are mutually beneficial to management and the union, but not the workers.

Sweetheart Agreements Further Defined

Sweetheart agreements are created through collusion between labor representatives and management. They contain terms that benefit management, but not the union workers.

These agreements benefit some, but not others, since they're secretly devised to benefit one entity at the expense of another. Sweetheart agreements tend to happen in industrial agreements made between management representatives and the union, and often at the workers' expense.

The Taft-Hartley Act

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed sweetheart agreements. It prevents employers from setting up company-sponsored labor organizations and prohibits unfavorable working conditions through illegitimate collective bargaining relationships.

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