Global super-union within a decade, says Amicus chief
London Times | January 1, 2007
An international trade union, working in at least three countries, could be created within a decade, the leader of one of Britain's biggest unions has predicted.
Amicus, which has 1.1 million members and is soon to merge with the T&G, has forged solidarity agreements with IG Metall in Germany and two American unions, the Machinists and the United Steel Workers. The T&G also has links with the SEIU, the US service industry union.
Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, said: “Our aim is to create a powerful single union that can transcend borders to challenge the global forces of capital. I envisage a functioning, if loosely federal, multinational trade union organisation within the next decade.”
One of Amicus's predecessor unions, the AEEU, held merger talks with IG Metall seven years ago but the idea was put on ice.
Unions are increasingly keen to forge international links in an attempt to match up to globalised industry. Their intention is to force multinational companies to deal with one union rather than be able to make changes in one country and not consult unions elsewhere.
The super-union formed from the merger of Amicus and the T&G will have nearly two million members. If it goes on to merge with the other unions with which there are now alliances, the overall organisation would have a membership of 7.6 million.
Members of Amicus and the T&G will be asked to vote on merger plans later this month. The leaderships of both unions have backed the plan.
However, there is a left-wing faction of Amicus that does not support the move and is attempting to galvanise opposition through a website, amicus.cc.
It is believed that Amicus had to withdraw an electronic poll on the merger from its own website after amicus.cc supporters had helped to deliver a no vote.
Plans for the UK super- union have concerned ministers and Labour Party officials who fear that it will have too much political muscle.
It has been suggested that its percentage of the vote at the Labour Party conference could be reduced so that it cannot dominate proceedings.
The emergence of such a large union is also likely to put into question the role of the TUC, which represents the entire spectrum of unions and provides support services to smaller organisations. Both Amicus and the T&G believe that they will be able to recruit new members more effectively when they combine resources. The organisation is likely to have a budget of £25 million.
The two unions have yet to agree a name for the new union although three names have been suggested: OneUnion, Union@work and AmicusT&G. Members will be asked to make the final decision.
UK union membership:
Amicus 1.1 million
T&G 800,000 In the US:
SEIU 1.3 million
United Steel Workers 1.2 million
The Machinists 730,000 In Germany:
IG Metall 2.4 million
"TerrorStorm is something that should be seen by everyone, no matter what their stance/affiliation/political bent. " - Rich Rosell, Digitally Obsessed UK
Get TerrorStorm on DVD today
Infowars.com is Copyright 2006 Alex Jones | Fair Use Notice