LONDON-A major new trade union has emerged in Britain with the goal of organizing skilled workers in the new technologies.

With trade union membership falling, the new organization, known as Manufacturing, Science and Finance (MSF), hopes to extend the frontiers of organized labor into areas where recruitment has been difficult. Its co-leaders, Clive Jenkins and Ken Gill, are confident that the new union can establish its identity quickly.

MSF is the product of the merger of two medium-sized white-collar unions, totaling about 700,000 members. Its members approved the marriage in a secret ballot held last month that featured a low turnout. Its members are employed throughout the aerospace, engineering and pharmaceuticals industries and in a variety of high-tech companies.

Jenkins was general secretary of the major trade union for scientists, the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs. The challenge he faces is to demonstrate to scientists the value of...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!