December 31, 2006 19:01 ET

UK unions prepares way for global labour organisation

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 1, 2007) -

Strictly Embargoed for 00.01am 1st January 2007

Amicus, the UK's biggest private sector union, is preparing to merge with the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) and has signed agreements with three international trade unions, laying the foundations for a global trade union.

Amicus and the T&G are preparing to ballot their nearly two million members for merger which, if they vote in favour, will create the UK's largest union on 1st May 2007.

Amicus is also forming global alliances and has signed solidarity agreements with the German super union, IG Metall, and super unions in Europe and with two of the USA's largest unions, the Machinists and the United Steel Workers. Amicus said these moves are a precursor to the creation of a single global union within the next decade.

Amicus' General Secretary, Derek Simpson, said:

"The world is changing and the new global realities involve transnational companies being able to trade off countries and workforces against each other. By establishing more positive links and working arrangements with trade unions abroad we can work together to prevent labour standards being eroded by ruthless global companies who show a ruthless disregard for their workers in the pursuit of even greater profits.

"Our aim is to create a powerful single union that can transcend borders to challenge the global forces of capital and I envisage a functioning, if loosely federal, multinational trade union organisation within the next decade.

"As a single union we will be able to focus on delivering better pay and conditions for our members and have the organising strength to reach out to new trade union members in our existing work places, as well as in new industries."

Members of Amicus and the T&G will get to vote on merger in May 2007. They aim to form a single union by the end of 2008 with a membership of approximately two million.

As well as spanning a huge range of professions and industrial sectors across the public, private and voluntary sectors, the new union will provide a powerful voice with government, enabling us to campaign on vital issues such as pensions, employment protection and skills training.

- Ends -

Contact Information

  • Amicus press office
    Catherine Bithell
    020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224