Blog: RMT branches exposes frackers' abuses of workers' rights

By Daniel Randall, LTRC Green Officer

RMT branches across the country are already discussing, and passing, policy on environmental issues. Some months ago, Brighton and Hove City RMT submitted a motion to their local Trades Council about "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing, a means of extracting gas by drilling into the earth) taking place in their area.

It shows how environmentally unsustainable processes are often accompanied by abuses of workers' rights, and a cavalier attitude to health and safety.

We should continue to expose the unsafe practises of the bosses driving climate chaos, which are unsustainable for both workers and the planet.

RMT members interested in activity around environmental issues should note that the Campaign Against Climate Change will be holding its annual demonstration on Saturday 7 March; for more information, click here.

Brighton and Hove City Branch motion:

Brighton and Hove City Branch have deep concerns over the safety of our members and the railway system in and around the Balcombe area, due to the on-going activities via drilling for shale gas; this process is commonly known as 'Fracking'.

Our branch and members are unhappy that Network Rail appear not to have undertaken the required risk assessments for such activities that are only a few chain away from the railway station. (a chain being 22 yards)

Recent activity and research has identified the alleged failure of Network Rail to respond diligently to the staged requests for change of use for this land adjacent to the Brighton to London mainline, and significantly no risk assessment has been forthcoming to employees or planning committees within the county council.

Apart from our members who work in that area, either via the TOC or via maintenance companies, there is also the mainline track, signals, numerous structures and Balcombe tunnel to consider.

We ask the Trades Council to seek assurances from Network Rail and for full disclosure of associated risk assessments for the works taking place in that area, and that further contact should be made with the emergency services such as the Fire Brigades Union informing them of our concerns over the failure to analyse and assess the comprehensive risks, hazards and concerns at that location and site.