A new 80,000 strong public service union called Fórsa has been formally launched following a merger of IMPACT, the Civil Public and Services Union and the Public Service Executive Union.
Fórsa will now be the second largest union in the country after SIPTU, with €85 million in assets, including a €50 million fund to support industrial disputes.
The new union represents state employees across the civil and public services, commercial and non-commercial semi-state organisations, the community and voluntary sector, as well as private sector companies in sectors including aviation and telecommunications.
Its membership includes around 30,000 civil servants, 30,000 health workers, 12,000 public servants in education, 10,000 local authority employees, and 6,500 in semi-state organisations and private companies.
Fórsa's Senior General Secretary Shay Cody (who formerly led the IMPACT trade union) said the new amalgamated union would be a progressive platform for trade unionism in Ireland and strengthen the hand of its 80,000 members.
General Secretary Tom Geraghty, former General Secretary of the Public Service Executive Union, described the merger as a historic occasion for public servants, the Irish trade union movement and for all who believed in a fairer society.
General secretary Eoin Ronayne, who previously headed up the Civil Public and Services Union, said Fórsa would bring together thousands of similar grades of workers across the civil and public services into one organisation for the first time, and was committed to securing better terms and conditions for members while working to deliver better public services for all.