Workers Uniting - the Global Union
The United Steelworkers (USW), North America's largest private sector union, and Unite the Union, the largest labor organization in the United Kingdom and Ireland, are joining forces.
At the USW Constitutional Convention in the summer of 2008, the unions signed an agreement clearing the way for the creation of Workers Uniting, the world's first global union.
Workers Uniting will draw on the energies of the two unions more than three million active and retired workers from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland who work in virtually every sector of the global economy, including manufacturing, service, mining and transportation.
For more information on the new global union, visit the Workers Uniting Web site.
UNITED STEELWORKERS (USW)
The USW represents 850,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada employed in the industries of metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service sector. For more information: www.usw.org/.
UNITE THE UNION
Unite is the UKs biggest union with over two million members. Unite represents working people in Manufacturing, banking and insurance, healthcare and science, and the voluntary sector. For more information: http://www.amicustheunion.org/
LEO W. GERARD
In USW International President Leo W. Gerard's first full term as United Steelworkers International President, he launched a wide range of new initiatives that have brought more than 350,000 workers into the union's ranks - a sixty-percent increase.
In addition, the union has utilized strategic bargaining to secure tens of thousands of jobs throughout North America, strengthened workers' bargaining leverage by forging strategic alliances with unions across the globe, and advanced the USW's historic leadership in coalitions committed to protecting the health, safety, and environment of workers, their families and their communities.
Derek Simpson, Secretary General of Unite - Amicus Section, was born in 1944 in Sheffield, the centre of Britain's steel industry. He left school at 15 to become an apprentice in an engineering firm, and soon became involved in the union, the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) - later the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) as a junior member.
Derek became a shop steward - workplace representative - for the AEU and joined Sheffield's district committee, becoming President in 1980 and holding a variety of union offices. In 1985 he was elected Sheffield District Secretary, his first full-time position, responsible for 35,000 members across the Sheffield area
Tony Woodley, General Secretary of Unite - Transport and General Workers Section. T&G merged with Amicus in 2007, forming Unite - Britain's largest trade union, and one of the largest in Ireland. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Tony will hold this position until January 2012.
Tony was elected General Secretary of the T&G in a ballot of the membership in 2003, succeeding Bill Morris in that post. The previous year, the members had elected him Deputy General Secretary of the T&G.