Members of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) have voted to merge to create a ‘super union', with about two million members including many in the hospitality industry.
In the ballot to approve the creation of the as yet unnamed new union, the T&G gave the go-ahead by 86% for merger and Amicus members voted 70% for merger. Both unions achieved a 27% turnout.
The new union will come into being on 1 May.
T&G general secretary Tony Woodley said: "The new union will be a progressive, organising, fighting back industrial giant focused above all on winning for our members in the workplace and taking trade unionism to the millions who need it."
Amicus leader Derek Simpson said: "The new union is a precursor to the creation of a single global trade union movement capable of challenging the might of multinationals who seek to play workforces and governments off against each other to reduce jobs and hard won pay and conditions."
Once the merger is finalised, the new Joint Executive Council, drawn equally from the T&G and Amicus executives, will supervise the drawing up of a final rule book for the new union. This will come into effect in November 2008, when the integration of the two unions into one should be complete.
Tony Woodley and Amicus leader Derek Simpson will serve as joint general secretaries of the new union. A sole general secretary will be elected in a membership ballot in 2010.
By Daniel Thomas