Chants of “Theresa May, hear us say, no fracking way,” rang across North Yorkshire countryside last Saturday as a 200-plus trade union solidarity march followed the PCS union’s samba band to Third Energy’s KM8 fracking well.
The KM8 test frack is expected as soon as Tory business secretary Greg Clarke rubber stamps government approval.
The demonstration was called by the Unite Union’s Community section. It was backed by union branches and trades councils with speakers from anti-fracking groups, Labour and Green party branches and Lib Dem and independent councillors.
Campaigners said they felt uplifted by the solidarity.
Local campaigner Mark told Socialist Worker, “This has given me the strength to keep going.”
At the rally, local resident Hazel called for help from “everyone, up and down the country”.
Speakers from the Unite, RMT, FBU unions and trades councils said that environment and fracking must be trade union issues. Particularly in the face of accelerating climate change and governments that back fossil fuel bosses.
Unite organiser John Coan vowed to back his members’ continued campaigning against fracking.
James Eaden of Chesterfield trades council said unions always involve themselves in the great moral issues of their day. North Yorkshire FBU secretary Steve Howley confirmed he had told management, “We will not be getting involved in police business,” after firefighters were asked to aid an arrest at the site.
Cat Cray, residents’ daughter and an RMT membership secretary, said organised workers are crucial allies. She said, “We know how to do this stuff. It’s what we do!”
Every Labour speaker vowed that a Labour government would ban fracking.