|Country||United Kingdom & Ireland|
|Affiliation||TUC, ICTU, AfF, CSEU, Labour Party|
Unite the Union, known as Unite, is a British and Irish trade union, formed on 1 May 2007, by the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union. The General Secretary of Unite is Len McCluskey.
On 2 July 2008, Unite signed an agreement to merge with the United Steelworkers to form a new global union entity called Workers Uniting which represents over 3 million members in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, North America and the Caribbean. Unite retains its branding and identity in the United Kingdom.
As part of the merger process, a Joint Executive Council (formed of the executives of both the predecessor unions) took office on the vesting day. In March 2008, a new Executive Council for the expanded Union was elected, taking office on 1 May 2008 and having a three year term.The Executive Council was tasked with putting a new Unite rulebook to a postal ballot of members during July 2008. The rule book was accepted by a majority of members and will not be subject to amendment until a Rules Conference is held.
The first reduced unified Unite Executive Council was elected in 2011
The first single General secretary of Unite Len McCluskey was elected in Dec 2010 on a platform of unification and standing for one term of office only.
The UNITE special Rules Conference in 2010 agreed a rule change including a formula for how seats will be allocated on the UNITE Executive Council which takes office in 2011. There are a number of factions within UNITE.
- Unite Now, A growing active movement which is "moderate left" It presents itself as an alternative movement for lay members. Supported Len McCluskey in his election. Not aligned to any political section of the union it is growing in influence within lay activist member ranks.
- United Left, the main left grouping, which includes supporters of the Labour Party, the Socialist Workers Party and Communist party. Supported Len McCluskey in his election.
A private presentation given by Unite’s former joint general secretary Tony Woodley showed that membership of the union had declined by 262,740 between 2007 and 2010. 
Criticism of UK government austerity measures
In June 2011, Unite publicly criticised the serving coalition government for a number of cuts in public services caused a result of the reduction of public funding, in particular cuts to the National Health Service (NHS). Dr Ron Singer – a retired GP of 30 years and Unite member – claimed that there were 'serious concerns' over the future of the NHS. However, the union were heavily criticised and accused of scaremongering over similar comments.
Payment to outgoing leader
Derek Simpson, the former leader of the union received a payment of over £500,000 when he left his post in 2010. 
The participants in the 2008 rooftop hunger strike at Unite's Transport House building in Belfast, were formerly shop stewards of the Transport and General Workers Union, now the T&G section of Unite the Union. The dispute is over legal fees and compensation for an unfair dismissal action against the workers' employer, arising from a 2002 strike at Belfast International Airport, and the related actions of a full-time union official employee.
Joint General Secretary Election and Merger Suspension
On the 9 October 2008 the executive council of Unite announced that there would be an election for the General Secretary (Amicus section), with a timetable of January/February 2009 for the election, the results being announced in March 2009. This election was for a fixed term until December 2010.
The Executive council also postponed the adoption of the new rule book and integration until May 2009. This action was taken in light of the potential success of a legal challenge to Simpson's extension of tenure by a "single member" of the union. Jerry Hicks, a former member of the union's Executive and its General Purposes and Finance Committee and unfairly dismissed convenor of Rolls Royce at Bristol, disclosed at the outset that he was the person behind the challenge. He made the same legal challenge that Simpson deployed successfully on his predecessor Ken Jackson.
Candidates seeking nomination for the election, and their main union positions at the beginning of March 2009, were:
- Derek Simpson (incumbent)
- Jerry Hicks (former convenor, Rolls Royce, Bristol)
- Laurence Faircloth (Regional Secretary, South West Region)
- Kevin Coyne (Regional Secretary, North West Region)
- Paul K. Reuter (National Officer)
All candidates received sufficient nominations but Laurence Faircloth stood down after nominations closed, recommending that his supporters support Derek Simpson.
A total of 159,272 voting slips were returned, out of a possible 1,096,511 voters, a turnout of 14.5%. Simpson won the election with 37.7% of the total votes cast, and will remain in the post of Joint General Secretary until December 2010.
- "TULO’s member unions". Unions Together. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Len McCluskey chosen as new Unite leader". BBC News. 21 November 2010.
- Harding, Eleanor (24 June 2011). "As biggest union is hit by plunging membership, outgoing leader says it must 'stop the rot'". London: Daily Mail.
- "Unite voice 'serious concerns' over the future of NHS care". Smart Assist. 28 June 2011.
- "NHS cuts: TUC is 'scaremongering' over health service cuts". The Telegraph. 23 February 2011.
- "Union boss Derek Simpson received £500,000 golden goodbye". London: Daily Telegraph. 19 July 2011.
- "Hunger strikers in bad shape". libcom.org (libcom collective of libertarian communists).
- "Belfast airport workers: Union leaders' broken promises". Socialist Party<!. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- Gordon McNeill (2008-06-18). "Press release: Sacked airport shop steward rejects union compensation “offer”". Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "Belfast Airport Shop Stewards - The Truth and Nothing but the Truth". Transport and General Workers' Union. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-25.[dead link]
- "Unite to hold election for Joint General Secretary". Unitetheunion.org. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Jerry Hicks For General Secretary". Jerryhicks.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- "www.faircloth4gs.com". www.faircloth4gs.com. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- "coyne4gs.net". coyne4gs.net. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Paul Reuter’s Blog". Amicusgselection.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- Unity Gazette statement on Laurence Faircloth's withdrawal
- Unite Amicus Section - Election of Joint General Secretary Independent Scrutineers report[dead link]
- Media related to Unite the Union at Wikimedia Commons
- Unite - the Union homepage
- Ian's Unite Site (blog of a UNITE Executive Council member)
- DearUnite.com: Unofficial members' web site
- Catalogue of the Unite archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick