TWU-Steelworkers Merger Falls Short of 66 2/3% Approval Threshold

BURNABY, BC, Nov. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Despite majority membership support for a merger of the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) with the United Steelworkers (USW), the merger proposal has fallen short of a two-thirds threshold required under the TWU constitution.

In a nationwide, rank-and-file vote conducted by electronic ballot over the last two weeks, TWU members voted 64.4% in favour of a merger with the USW. Final results were released this afternoon after being validated by an independent auditor.

Despite the majority support by TWU members, the merger will not proceed due to the TWU constitution's requirements that a merger be endorsed by 66 2/3% of voting members.

"A majority of our members support the proposed merger, but our constitution is clear," said TWU President Lee Riggs.

"We did our best to ensure a truly democratic process, with unprecedented consultation and engagement of our members at all levels of our union," Riggs said. "It was a productive, dynamic and worthwhile process that will serve us well as we work together to face the challenges ahead."

The TWU and USW have shared a strategic alliance since 2010. In August of this year, after months of discussion, the two unions reached a tentative merger agreement, which was followed by two months of consultation with TWU members and a rank-and-file vote held over the last two weeks.

"Our work over the last few months has helped build a stronger union, with a more engaged and committed membership," Riggs said. "The TWU National Executive Council is committed to moving forward in a positive manner and working in the best interests of our members."

SOURCE: Telecommunications Workers Union

For further information:

Lee Riggs, TWU National President, 604-437-8601
Etta Hall, TWU Communications, 604-453-8620, 604-999-5023,

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