The United Steelworkers is planning to merge with two international unions to create the world's biggest union, representing more than 3.4 million members.
"The time for global unionism has arrived," Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, said today. "We need cross-border organizing strategies to protect workers against the mobility of capital that knows no borders."
The two international unions -- Amicus, which represents more than 1 million British workers and the 800,000-member Transport & General Workers Union representing British and Irish workers -- had already voted to merge on May 1.
Representatives of the three unions signed an agreement today in Ottawa, Canada, agreeing to set up a merger exploration committee, with the goal of merging within a year.
The United Steelworkers and Amicus had signed a strategic alliance two years ago.