TSSA Boilermakers logos and voting hands

INTERNATIONAL: Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association trade union in the UK and Ireland have voted in favour of merging with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers in the USA and Canada.

TSSA said this would be the first merger of British and North American trade unions. TSSA has more than 18 000 members at rail, ferry, bus and travel companies, while IBB represents more than 50 000 people in the railway, heavy industry, shipbuilding, manufacturing, mining and related sectors.

TSSA is to hold a Special Delegate Conference on March 19 to consider the proposals further, and the unions are working towards completing the merger by summer 2022.

‘Our members and activists have spoken loud and clear that they back the proposed merger with the Boilermakers’, said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes on March 2. ‘The merger will bring strength and security to our TSSA union at a time when our members need support. Our union’s leadership will now be putting our collective shoulders to the wheel to act on the wishes of our members by making the proposed merger a reality.’

The online ballot which closed on March 1 recorded a turnout of 32%, with more than 5 000 individual members voting. Of those who voted, 85% supported the merger, and 15% voted no. TSSA said this was one of the biggest turnouts for a trade union merger ballot, comparing it with the 18% turnout in a 2016 vote on the merger of Bectu with Prospect.