Superunion gives workers more political clout

Manufacturing workers will have a much louder voice in Whitehall following
the launch of "super-union" Amicus.

Amicus – which means friend or partner in Latin – has more than 100 MPs and
MEPs among its one million members. It was formed by the merger of the
Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union and the Manufacturing Science
Finance Union and will have an annual income of £66m.

Joint general secretary Sir Ken Jackson said, "We are determined our
strength is placed at the disposal of this country’s economic reform and future
success."

He added, "As the largest affiliate of the Labour Party, we have
immense political influence in Brussels and Whitehall."

Amicus is the UK’s second biggest union after Unison and will negotiate with
some of the country’s largest employers.

Its size will allow cost cutting and give it more political clout, said Mike
Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD.

He said, "It makes sense to slim down the bureaucracy and enable head
office to deal with ministers more effectively."

Shop-floor employment relations could also change. Graham Morton, senior
employee relations adviser at the CBI, said, "It should enable increased
resources and training for union reps, which will improve their understanding
of business realities."

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