Labour Research December 2009

Union news

Union merger gets the go-ahead

The membership of the managers’ and specialists’ union Prospect, is to be boosted by 19,000 communications professionals after members of the Connect union voted by 88% in favour of merging with them.

The move will create a union of over 120,000 engineers, scientists, managers and specialists across the private and public sectors from 1 January 2010. Former Connect members will be part of a dedicated sector for communications workers within Prospect that will be headed by current Connect deputy general secretary, Leslie Manasseh, who will also be a deputy general secretary of Prospect. Current leader of Connect, Adrian Askew, retires at the end of this year.

Prospect general secretary Paul Noon said: “Our strong focus on Prospect as a professional union for professional people has been shown to have wide appeal.” The move will follow last month’s merger with Prospect of the 2,000 members of the Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers (ALAE) and the 800-member Jersey Civil Service Association.

Prospect’s deputy general secretary Mike Clancy said that the ALAE’s vote boosted “Prospect’s aim of becoming the UK’s leading professional and specialist union,” while ALAE chair Robert Alway said the merger “will ensure that air safety remains firmly on the agenda”.