LAS VEGAS (April 15)—Two U.S.-based labor organizations made their planned merger official April 12, thus creating the largest industrial union in North America.
About 1,600 members of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union overwhelmingly approved the merger with the United Steelworkers of America during a convention in Las Vegas. The USWA was holding its annual meetings concurrently the week of April 11. The organizations announced their intent to merge in January.
The new organization officially will be the United Steel, Paper, Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union—the United Steelworkers, or USW, for short.
The USW will have 850,000 active members within 8,000 bargaining units in the U.S. Canada and Caribbean region. Including retirees, the union will represent 1.25 million members in manufacturing and service sectors.
About 575,000 members will come from the Pittsburgh-based USWA and 275,000 from Nashville, Tenn.-based PACE. The headquarters facilities for both unions will remain open, but the Nashville site is slated to close in 10 years, with the USW base of operations remaining in Pittsburgh.
Leo Gerard, president of the USWA, will be the new USW president, while PACE President Boyd Young will be the executive vice president. The newly formed union also will have a new executive board for the transition.