6.3 million workers join to take on multinational companies

IG MetallAn interesting article from the Observer tells of four large overseas unions joining together to take on multinational companies that ‘trade off countries and workforces against each other’.

The four unions are Amicus, the UK’s largest private sector union (and also the union for British finance workers), the German engineering union IG-Metall, and two US unions, the United Steelworkers and the International Association of Machinists.

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 organisation within the next decade.’

Amicus will soon have 2 million members. IG-Metall has 2.4 million members, the USW has 1.2 million and there are 730,000 members at the Machinists. A merger would create an organisation with 6.3 million members – more than 150% the size of New Zealand’s population.

Finsec has also recognised the need to work closely with overseas unions with the fourth pillar of the Better Banks campaign being to build our union movement strength by working closely with other local and international unions, such as the Australian Finance Sector Union. Banking is a huge international industry. If 85% of New Zealand banks are owned in Australia, we need to have influence in Australia.

(bedankt to Frank Eßers for the photo)


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