Creating a global union

Two European unions join with two U.S. unions

Two of Europe’s largest unions have signed a solidarity pact with two American unions to form a supranational union to ensure a minimum of international labour standards in the face of increasingly mobile multinational corporations.

The European unions, the German Metalworkers’ Union and Amicus in the United Kingdom, will join with the United Steelworkers and the International Association of Machinists. The four unions will develop the structure of the new global union over the next 10 years.

"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," said Derek Simpson, the general secretary of Amicus.

Proposed structure

Simpson has indicated that any future body is likely to be organized along federal lines. Such a structure would have the benefit of offering a degree of centralisation, namely a common approach to multinational companies, while at the same time respecting the various national traditions of each trade union.

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