RMT Regional Council August 2013: Motions

Justice For The 33
"This region calls on the national executive to enact the request for a ballot for industrial action regarding the issue of casualisation of labour on LUL and the re -instatement of the workers known as the J33 into permanent positions". Finsbury Park

Driverless Trains
We are dismayed to learn that on July 4th London Mayor Boris Johnson again called for driverless trains to be introduced on the Underground. He informed the media that LUL will never again order trains with driver’s cabs.

This Union reasserts its demand that all LUL trains will be operated by drivers from the driver's cab. If cabless trains are ordered we should declare a breakdown in industrial relations immediately, and not wait until they are built and delivered.

We ask that the General Secretary writes to LUL to remind them this is our Union's position. We also ask that the General Secretary writes to Aslef to advise them of this decision and to seek their support.

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing to use its correct name, is a method of obtaining natural gas to be used for fuel. The process involves drilling into rocks and blasting them with a highly pressurised mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release the gas inside the rocks. This gas is called shale gas. The pressure from the mixture causes cracks, or veins, in the rock, which allows for the shale gas to flow back with the mixture. Although fracking is very popular in the US, the world's second largest CO2 emitter, many countries have banned the process, including France and Bulgaria.

The reasons behind fracking's controversy are many. The most notable is that thechemicals used in the process are known to cause cancer and the inherently dangerous nature of the process allows for these chemicals not only to pollute the air surrounding the fracking site, but also to leak from the fracking well, contaminating groundwater, which could end up as the water in your tap.

Other environmental costs associated with fracking are huge. Millions of gallons of water are transported to facilitate fracking, meaning high carbon emissions as well as the need to build access roads for these vehicles to reach the fracking sites and remove the vast quantities of waste produced during the process.
Another side effect of the fracking process is earthquakes, with two being recorded in Blackpool in 2011 during tests of the process.

On the subject of cost, an April 2013 report by the Energy & Climate Change Committee admitted that they doubt fracking will reduce energy prices in Britain. Fracking is a short term solution to a long term problem. The UK's shale gas reserves will only meet consumer needs for 47 years, whereas investment in renewable energy sources will ensure sustainable energy for future generations, reduce carbon emissions and create thousands of jobs in a new energy industry. The government are legally obliged to reduce
global warming by 2 degrees, which will be impossible if it insists on continuing to devour our fossil fuels and push forward with their plans to frack in the UK.

Tory peer, Lord Howell's recent disgusting comments that the north east of England is a good candidate for fracking because it is "desolate" and there is "plenty of room" show that our government is totally out of touch with not only real people, but environmental (and public health) issues. London Mayor, Boris Johnson even wants to frack the capital, saying "if reserves of shale can be exploited in London, we shall leave no stone unturned - or unfracked." It is Londoners who will be exploited if Boris gets his own way.

We therefore call on this union to oppose the use of fracking and to instead encourage renewable forms of energy. We commend the work already done, such as the installation of solar panels at many of our buildings and encourage this union to build on their good work. We ask our union to support anti-fracking groups and demonstrations and to call upon our parliamentary group to sign early day motions in opposition of fracking in the UK.

We also encourage regional councils to utilise or otherwise create, the position of Green Reps to report on environmental issues and help our union move forward to a brighter, greener future.

The RMT will impose Green bans on fracking and any work associated or connected with fracking and encourage other Unions to do likewise.