Socialist Worker

Unions shouldn't do the work of fracking bosses

Issue No. 2439

Around 250 protesters with a contingent of tractors rallied against fracking outside Lancashire county council in Preston last week.

They wanted it to deny fracking company Cuadrilla permission to frack in two nearby sites, as council planning officers had recommended.

The next day the BBC’s Question Time programme was a target for anti-fracking protests in Wrexham, north Wales.

These are just some examples of the groundswell of anger against fracking and its threat to safety and the climate.

But the GMB union’s leadership is putting itself on the wrong side. It held a conference in Blackpool on last Saturday to “debate” fracking and put the line out to its members.

GMB officials hold up fracking as the alternative to importing gas from countries with worse workers’ and environmental protection than Britain. 

It points out that many of its members work in the gas and oil industries.

But there’s no substance to promises that fracking will create more jobs than renewables. And where gas and oil workers in Britain do have protections, it comes from standing up to the energy bosses.

Instead the union is doing the bosses’ work for them.

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Tue 3 Feb 2015, 18:33 GMT
Issue No. 2439
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