Socialist Worker

Reports round up—Protests force Ineos bosses to frack off

Issue No. 2540

Activists prepare to march on the bosses’ HQ

Activists prepare to march on the bosses’ HQ


Hundreds of people took to the streets of Marsh Lane, a small village outside Eckington in Derbyshire, last Tuesday. They delivered a powerful message to fracking bosses of petrochemical giant Ineos.

The Tories have granted Ineos the licences to test for fracking sites across large areas of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Marsh Lane is its first planned test site.

Ineos had come to the village with a “community information” exhibition to sell the idea of fracking.

Local campaigners set up their own “alternative” anti-fracking exhibition in the local community centre.

It acted as a base for two marches that surrounded Ineos’s venue with hundreds of chanting protesters.

The Ineos bosses had to scurry off ashen faced and demoralised through crowds.

Ineos still needs to get planning permission from Derbyshire County Council. Campaigners plan another march on 25 February.

James Eaden 

  • A building firm in Bolton pulled out of supplying Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool this week. It came as a result of Bolton Against Fracking activists slow walking in front of vans.

More Tube jobs but fight for better staffing goes on

London Tube workers’ unions RMT and TSSA suspended two planned strikes of station staff set for this week.

The action was pulled after bosses gave a commitment to reinstate 533 of the 933—almost 60 percent—of the jobs that were slashed in the past few years.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash called it a “tremendous victory” but the union “remains eternally vigilant”.

TSSA said the union was still “in dispute with London Underground and our overtime ban is still in place.”

One RMT rep told Socialist Worker, “In a heated discussion, a third of reps were against suspending and argued that escalating action had the potential to win more of the jobs back.”

The agreement will reopen control rooms and guarantee promotion of lower grade staff into higher safety critical grades but the rep said that the fight is not over.


Deaths in custody

Around 60 people marched through Huddersfield last Saturday to the police station over the police killing of Yassar Yaqub. Police shot Yassar dead as he sat in a car on the M62 near Huddersfield, west Yorkshire, in January

Around 60 people marched through Huddersfield last Saturday to the police station over the police killing of Yassar Yaqub. Police shot Yassar dead as he sat in a car on the M62 near Huddersfield, west Yorkshire, in January (Pic: Neil Terry)


Another scalp at Harrods?

Workers at the posh Harrods department store celebrated another victory in the wake of their successful campaign to retain their tips.

Executive chef Christian Knerr, who had oversight of all the menus at the store’s 28 restaurants, has resigned.

People working at the store spoke to Socialist Worker. One said, “It’s got to be something to do with the service charge campaign.”

And people are joining the United Voices of the World union, which was behind the campaign.

“More and more people are joining every week,” said one union member.

“People now know that we are stronger together.”

Alistair Farrow


Lights, camera—and action set to hit the Picturehouse

Workers at four Picturehouse cinema sites in London celebrated a resounding vote for industrial action last Sunday.

The members of the Bectu section of the Prospect union plan to walk out from 2pm this Saturday.

It will affect the Ritzy in Brixton, south London, Hackney Picturehouse in east London, Crouch End Picturehouse in north London and Picturehouse Central.

Workers released a statement on Sunday.

“On the weekend of the Bafta awards, where the best talent in the industry is celebrated, we the workers will stand up to be valued and appreciated,” it said.

Workers were forced to reballot after management launched a legal challenge.

But one union rep told Socialist Worker that this allowed the Crouch End branch to join the dispute.

lGo to A Living Wage for Ritzy Staff and A Living Wage for Hackney Picturehouse Staff for more information on the dispute


Mark 50 years of right to choose fight

The Abortion Rights campaign is set to hold a public meeting, Fifty years of Activism, this Saturday in central London to mark a half century since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act.

The meeting begins at 1pm and Abortion Rights will hold its AGM from 3pm.

Fifty Years of Activism, Saturday 11 February, 1-5pm, Unite the Union, 33-37 Moreland St, London EC1V 8BB

Rotherham anti-fascist unity rally

Rotherham Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has called a unity rally in the South Yorkshire town on Saturday 25 February. The rally will oppose the fascist English Defence League, which plans to protest in the town.

The UAF rally assembles from 1pm in All Saints Square.


Legal fight against government payoffs

Civil service union PCS has launched a legal challenge to Tory cuts to redundancy payments.

The Tories forced through cuts to civil service workers’ redundancy payments in November last year before the PCS had balloted its members on the cuts.

The union is consulting its branches “on where we can best campaign and take action to put pressure on the government.”


Historic cleaners’ LSE strike ballot

Cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE) are set to begin the first ballot for industrial action by cleaners in the university’s history this week.

The LSE and outsourcing firm Noonan have refused to acknowledge cleaners’ demands for equal pay and conditions with workers directly employed by the university.

To donate to the cleaners’ strike fund go to bit.ly/2layIdq

Crucial week for Haringey housing

North London housing activists in Haringey are gearing up for a crucial week in their fight to save estates in the borough from redevelopment, by a Labour council in league with property developers.

A public meeting is set to take place this Monday, 13 February, 7pm, at Wood Green Social Club with a march and rally on Tuesday evening, assembling at Duckett’s Common, 5pm. Rally at Haringey Civic Centre 6pm.


A strongly worded letter on cuts

The CWU postal workers’ union has said it is “relaunching” its campaign against Tory plans to close and privatise Post Offices.

The CWU has fought plans to outsource Crown Post Offices.

Workers struck several times against the plans last year.

A letter to CWU branches said they should launch “local community campaigns” but it does not mention further strikes.


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