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Potential union of unions across the Atlantic


In what is a possible world’s first, London-based transport and travel union the TSSA is in talks with America’s International Brotherhood of Boilermakers on a potential transatlantic merger.

This follows on from a strategic partnership set up in 2020. The unions are now looking to formalise this connection and talks are expected to take place over the coming weeks.

Talks between both unions are now planned to intensify, with the aim of delivering the merger by 1 July 2022. 

Manuel Cortes, TSSA.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “I’m delighted that our conference voted overwhelmingly for our union to continue talks with the Boilermakers (the IBB) to create the world’s first transatlantic union. 

“The aim is to deliver an autonomous British and Irish section composed of current TSSA members. We can build on our shared values and take forward a new and exciting model of trade union organising for our members on both sides of the pond.

“If these talks are successful, our members will see no real change to the way our union currently operates, no lowering of the high standards of representation our members currently receive.

“In fact, we expect to have access to far greater funds to support our organising activities. And our members in Britain and Ireland will continue to have full autonomy to make whatever industrial, political and policy decisions they wish to make.”

Newton B Jones, IBB.

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers president Newton B. Jones said: “The Boilermakers union is very much looking forward to discussions for merger with TSSA. The more we have learned about TSSA, the more we have understood the mutually beneficial opportunities for our unions.

“The strategic partnership agreement we signed in January 2020 first brought together our common strengths and resources, and, even amid the pandemic, we began to experience the advantages of sharing resources.

“I am excited about intensifying our discussions and to continuing our work together to amplify IBB and TSSA’s efforts to ensure working people have a voice on the job, safe working conditions, fair wages and fair treatment.”


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