MEMBERS OF the GPMU print union are voting on whether their union should merge with Amicus or open negotiations with the TGWU.
The union's national leadership is for merger with Amicus. They argue that the union's perilous financial state means our future will only be viable if we merge.
Officers in branches representing a majority of the union's members are unhappy with merger with Amicus. They argue members should keep open the option of pursuing further merger talks with the TGWU.
Faced with this limited choice in the ballot, the best option would be to vote to keep open the TGWU option.
The root of the union's financial state is that membership has shrunk while the full time apparatus of union officials and the like has been maintained.
In fact the union could easily remain an independent union, if it recruited and organised properly across the industry.
In the London Region, for example, there are up to 30,000 workers in the print sector while the union has a membership of around 5,000. A serious recruitment and organising campaign is the key to the future of the union, whatever decision is made now.
The RMT has 60,000 members and is thriving. The GPMU has 100,000-why the crisis?