Amicus the Union
1 May 2007
TUC, ICTU, STUC
Derek Simpson, general
Amicus was the United Kingdom’s second-
largest trade union, and the largest private
sector union, formed by the merger of Manu-
facturing Science and Finance, the AEEU
(Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical
Union) agreed in 2001, and two smaller uni-
ons, UNIFI and the GPMU. Amicus also or-
ganised in both parts of Ireland and was affil-
iated to the UK Trades Union Congress, the
Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Scot-
tish Trades Union Congress.
On 1 May 2007 it merged with the TGWU
to form Unite, which is the biggest trade uni-
on in the UK.
Amicus organises workers in almost every in-
dustry, predominantly in the private sector.
At the 2005 TUC Congress it was reported
that Amicus had 1,200,000 members of
whom 266,986 were female and 933,014
Amicus is affiliated to the Labour Party in
Britain, and the Irish Labour Party (Ireland).
The Amicus UK Parliamentary Group in-
cludes about 120 MPs.
When the merger to form Amicus was
agreed, the General Secretary of MSF was
Roger Lyons, and Sir Ken Jackson led the
AEEU. When the merger came into force they
both became Joint General Secretaries of
Amicus. Jackson was forced to hold an elec-
tion, and was replaced by Derek Simpson. In
May 2003, Simpson became General Secret-
ary in his own right following the departure
of Lyons. ’Amicus’ was chosen for the name
of this new union for its Latin meaning:
friend, comrade (m).
In late 2004 two other major unions joined
Amicus - UNIFI (the union for the finance in-
dustry) and the Graphical, Paper and Media
During 2005 discussions started between
the TGWU, Amicus and the GMB about the
possibility of merging the three unions into
one organisation with potentially 2.5 million