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Super-union seeks US arm

Unite, the Union (Unite), is planning to hold talks with America’s United Steelworkers (USW) union in an attempt to create the world’s first international trade alliance. The move comes as Unite, the new super-union formed from the merger between Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), seeks to improve pay and conditions for its members working in multinational companies. Amicus already has co-operation deals with IG Metall, the German engineering union and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) in the US. The IAMAW represents almost 750,000 workers in more than 200 industries, including building and construction. The T&G has similar partnerships with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in the US, a general workers union with 1.4 million members, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU represents 1.3m US service employees. Derek Simpson, Amicus general secretary, has spoken of creating “a single global trade-union movement capable of challenging the might of multinationals”. If the merger between Unite and the USW were to go ahead, the international trade union would represent approximately 3.2m workers in the UK, the US and Canada. It is expected that the merger would take 18 months, and be ready by the time that Amicus and T&G have become fully integrated into Unite.