Call for unions to join forces across EU borders

Unions are being urged to join forces with their counterparts in Europe to lead the fight against multinational corporations.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Amicus general secretary Derek Simpson said workers must boost their position against international companies.

“We need to develop the idea of a European trade union. Joint action with colleagues on the continent would stand a better chance of affecting a company’s plans,” he said.

With 1.3 million members, Amicus is the largest of three unions involved in talks to form a super union in the UK.

The proposed merger of the GMB, the Transport and General Workers Union and Amicus would account for more than 2 million fully paid-up members.

Simpson said the merger could help unions co-operate when a multinational threatened to transfer jobs abroad.

British unions are “small players” compared with Germany’s behemoth service sector unions, IG Metall (2.5 million members) or Verdin with 2.6 million.

SPI-CGIL in Italy is the largest union in the EU. It has almost 2.9 million members.

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