TSSA union picket pack

UK: The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association trade union has announced a proposal to merge with its counterpart GMB.

In a joint statement on January 10, the two unions said that in response to falling membership levels and financial shortfalls, TSSA had contacted GMB to seek a suitable merger partner. Following meetings of the executive committees of both unions, it has been agreed that talks should begin.

TSSA has 18 000 members at rail, ferry, bus and travel companies in the UK and Ireland. It said that GMB, as one of the UK and Ireland’s biggest trade unions, ‘has a proven record of treating merger partners with dignity and respect’.

Having grown through multiple union mergers since 1889, GMB has 500 000 members in many industries across the public and private sectors.

It said it welcomed the opportunity to ‘bring a historic transport-based union into its family’, and committed to preserving the TSSA’s traditions and industrial identity.

Last year TSSA members voted in favour of merging with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers in the USA and Canada. This would have been the first merger of British and North American trade unions, but it did not prove possible to reach a final agreement and both parties agreed to call off the merger.