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Ucatt members vote in favour of Unite merger

Leaders of unions Unite and Ucatt have issued a warning to “bad bosses” after their proposed merger was backed by members today.

Ucatt members voted unanimously to join forces with the UK’s largest union Unite in a ballot this morning.

The vote saw 85.5 per cent of Ucatt members pledge support to combining Ucatt and Unite’s construction membership to form “one powerful voice” for construction workers.

Ucatt members voted in favour of the merger in principle at its annual conference in May.

Leaders of both unions have since carried out negotiations over the terms of the deal, which have now been agreed.

Ucatt had considered potential mergers with Unite, Community and the GMB earlier this year.

Construction News understands Unite was favoured due to its large construction arm.

The merger will formally take place on the 1 January 2017, with both unions finalising details ahead of that date.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a historic moment for the construction industry and the men and women who work in it.

“From January 2017, construction workers will for the first time have one united powerful union on their side at work.

“Bad bosses and construction firms employing sharp practices should beware.

“Our new combined industrial voice will be used to defend the rights of construction workers across the UK and to campaign for secure decent jobs which pay the rate for the job.”

Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said: “By joining with Unite, the industrial muscle of all construction workers will double overnight, which is good news for all members.

“Employers are going to have to get used to dealing with one voice and one union.

“They need to understand that shoddy and underhand practices – including dismissing workers without warning, exploiting workers by paying them via agencies or umbrella companies, and ignoring key safety laws – will not be tolerated and will be exposed.”

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