The United Steelworkers, North America’s largest private sector union with 1.2 million members, and Unite the Union, the largest labor organization in the United Kingdom and Ireland with 2 million members, signed an agreement to create the world’s first global union called Workers Uniting. The announcement was made at the USW’s 2008 Constitutional Convention.
In a video news release featuring USW Int’l President Leo W. Gerard and Unite the Union’s General Secretary Derek Simpson, the two trade unionists describe the power of the two institutions coming together with a shared “vision of a world where workers globally unite.”
USW President Gerard said:
“We are acknowledging that the days when you could have a regional union to take on a regional employer left a long time ago. The days when you could have a national union start to take on a national employer have been eroding real quick. In the last 20 years, more and more of the global economy has moved to have no borders, has moved to have no loyalty to any country. So if we don’t create an institution that can respond to that, that has loyalty to workers, and to the dreams and aspirations of workers, then we’ll get run over.
…We are taking the steps to create the first gloal worker response that can be be action oriented, and I believe if we succeed, it’s like the field of dreams, others will come.”
The video news releases lays out the reality for workers today:
“Together we will harness the power of our solidarity to challenge the recklessness of unregulated capital that is using gloablization to exploit workers throughout the world.”
If you’re in the mood to be educated and inspired, to remind your heart and mind why workers’ rights are human rights, and to see the proud, determined faces of workers united for justice in the U.S., Columbia, Liberia, Jordan, on Wall Street and Main Street, watch the USW-produced video: “Seize the Moment: This is Our Time” (7:34 min).