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Forming a transatlantic labor union

Stephen Beard May 26, 2008
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Forming a transatlantic labor union

Stephen Beard May 26, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The largest labor union in Britain, UNITE, has agreed to merge with one of this country’s biggest unions: The United Steelworkers. The deal announced yesterday will create the first transatlantic labor group. More now from Stephen Beard in London.


Stephen Beard: The two unions are planning to merge later this summer. The new organization will represent almost 3 million workers in manufacturing, finance and the public sector in the U.S., Canada, Britain and the Caribbean.

But this is only the first step. They’ve also put out feelers to other unions in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Derek Simpson is joint head of UNITE. He says an international union will have real bargaining clout:

Derek Simpson: We have a view that we need a global trade union in order to be able to deal effectively and on a par with the many global companies that we now have members working for.

Some analysts say this raises the prospect of global strikes. And it may make it more difficult for some big companies to shift production to cheaper locations abroad.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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