pay dues

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pay one's dues

1. Lit. to pay the fees required to belong to an organization. If you haven't paid your dues, you can't come to the club picnic. How many people have paid their dues?
2. Fig. to have earned one's right to something through hard work or suffering. He worked hard to get to where he is today. He paid his dues and did what he was told. I have every right to be here. I paid my dues!
See also: due, pay

pay your dues

to earn respect because you worked hard to develop a skill She paid her dues playing in small clubs in New York before an album made her famous.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of dues (money paid to belong to an organization)
See also: due, pay

pay your dues

to work hard or do something unpleasant over a long period in order to achieve something I've looked after four kids for sixteen years, I've paid my dues, and now I want some time to enjoy myself.
See also: due, pay

pay (one's) dues

To earn a given right or position through hard work, long-term experience, or suffering: She paid her dues in small-town theaters before being cast in a Broadway play.
See also: due, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
Local 11 knows the vast majority of employees of the New Otani do not want to be represented by Local 11 or pay dues to Local 11.
Workers who must pay dues in California are entitled to a reduction in fees that go beyond these activities.
Through an association's website, members will be able to update demographic information, order materials, register for conferences, and pay dues from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.
It may be mentioned here that CDA, at present is facing severe financial crisis and has to pay dues of Rs.
Now get ready for the union state, a sort of Democratic utopia where everyone in California will be required under state law to pay dues to organized labor groups even if they don't want to.
Other employees were fired after refusing to pay dues until their rights were acknowledged.
With Democrats in control in Sacramento, unions are again seeking state-mandated rules that will force employees at California State University and University of California campuses, including faculty, to pay dues whether they join the union or not.
However, the Supreme Court, in a series of rulings culminating in the Beck decision of 1988, has said that workers can only be forced to pay dues and fees for purposes closely related to collective bargaining.
And if I join a group, I should be active, not just pay dues.
Other attorneys note that unionization will not work if the vast majority of attorneys don't pay dues and participate.
Kuhn oversees 19 active members who pay dues of $5 a year, $3 of which goes to fishing conservation groups.
Mothers Unlimited members pay dues of $40 the first year and $30 thereafter, and the club rents a meeting room at Church of the Nazarene in Newhall for monthly meetings.
The American Arbitration Association ruled last week the CTA overcharged nonmembers who pay dues solely for collective bargaining about $7 million in expenses that were not related to contract negotiations.