07/10/2013 03:59 EDT | Updated 09/09/2013 05:12 EDT

TWU-USW Union Merger Talks Underway

BURNABY, B.C. - Another big labour merger appears to be headed towards completion later this year.

The Telecommunications Workers Union says it's in talks to form an alliance between the United Steelworkers following a decision in May to begin the negotiations.

USW spokesman Bob Gallagher says the official talks began about three weeks ago.

The move would combine members of the TWU, which represent employees at Telus (TSX:T), Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) and other companies, with the USW, which has members in several sectors.

The unions say the decision will hinge on a tentative merger agreement that will be voted on by TWU members this fall.

Together, the unions have a combined membership of about 238,000 workers, and have been part of a strategic alliance since 2010.

"This will build a better union for every member. And with the USW's extensive international network of allies and resources, our newly merged union can become a global leader in the telecommunications sector," said the unions in a joint statement.

The united operations would also be the second major organized labour merger this year.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers agreed to form Unifor, which will represent more than 300,000 workers across roughly 20 sectors of the economy.

Unifor will officially launch its combined operations on the Labour Day weekend.


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