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British-American labour unions to unite

In very interesting news,

The "United Steelworkers said it is close to completing a merger with Unite, the United Kingdom's biggest union, creating the first trans-Atlantic union in a move aiming to bolster labor clout globally."

Even more interesting, the two unions include British, Irish, Canadian, and American members.

"Unlike loosely affiliated international union federations, the new organization is expected to function like a single union, using its combined three million members in the U.S., Canada, England [sic] and Ireland to coordinate organizing and bargaining with multinational employers."

Unions began because of the pressing need of individual workers to gain traction when negotiating for wages with employers. The Tolpuddle Martyrs are among those who fought valiantly for the right to bargain collectively, and they were overwhelmingly supported by the British people.

Subsequently it sometimes seemed that unions were holding their fellow citizens hostage with high demands. Today with giant trans-national companies gaining power in global trade, the unions feel "their own working conditions and compensation are at stake".

Will British and American unions be able to work together? A host of legal, national, business, and labour questions are sure to arise.

The focus of the new union will be private-equity acquisition impacts. It will target London's BP, International Paper, and India's Tata Steel.

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