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Ucatt to merge with Unite

18 May 16 Ucatt, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades & Technicians, has reached the end of the road and is to merge with the much larger Unite union.

Ucatt was formed in 1971 when woodworkers and painters & decorators and joined with the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers (AUBTW) and the Association of Building Technicians.

The decision to close the doors on Ucatt was taken at the union's conference today, 18th May 2016.

The vote occurred following what was described as “a full, frank and passionate debate about the union’s future”.

Ucatt said that the decision was taken “in order to preserve existing structures and to maximise the representation of construction workers in all sectors”.

Ucatt’s leadership will now enter full negotiations with Unite. Once negotiations are complete a formal vote on a transfer of engagements of all Ucatt members will take place. This could take place around the end of the year.

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Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said: “Ucatt delegates listened to the arguments both in favour of remaining independent or a merger or transfer to Unite and decided that the best option for existing members and for all construction workers was a link up to Unite.”

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “We welcome this chance to work with Ucatt colleagues on building a powerful, united union for construction workers where we can combine our might and expertise to get the best deal for this workforce.”

According to returns submitted to the Certification Officer, the body responsible for statutory functions relating to trade unions and employers' associations, Ucatt's UK membership  had declined to 54,644 by the end of 2014, plus a further 6,585 in the Republic of Ireland.

As recently as 1999 Ucatt had nearly 112,000 members.

It incurred a net deficit of £3,550,000 in 2014 and at year-end had net current liabilities of more than £1 million, prompting independent auditor Moore Stephens LLP to express “significant doubt about the union’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

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