Labour Research November 2004

Union news

Two mergers to go ahead

Two new union mergers are set to go ahead shortly. The 3,000 members of the National Union of Lock and Metal Workers have voted overwhelmingly to merge with the Transport and General Workers Union. Over 90% voted in favour in a 48% turnout.

And the 147,000-strong finance union, Unifi, has finally merged with private sector union Amicus?? after the balloting process leading to the merger was deemed satisfactory. The merger was due to take place last July but was held up by complaints about the vote made by a Unifi member. The certification officer dismissed the complaints, and the 147,000 members of Unifi have now been transferred. They are due to be joined by members of the GPMU print union later in the year.

Meanwhile the National Union of Mineworkers has denied press reports that it plans to merge with the RMT rail union, saying joint meetings had only been held to consider pooling resources.

RMT leader Bob Crow told the BBC that combining the assets of the two unions could be in the interest of both unions, but denied that declining NUM membership was driving any interest in merger. The NUM's membership has plummeted from 500,000 at its peak to just 3,000 today, while the RMT's has recently been rising and stands at over 67,000.