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Unions from 12 Countries Call for a Global Moratorium on Fracking

By Bruno Dobrusin and Sean Sweeney - Unions Against Fracking, November 9, 2015

Thirty trade union bodies representing tens of millions of workers have issued a statement calling for a “global moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas, coal seam gas, and shale oil.”  Among the thirty first-signers are national trade union centers from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Nepal, Peru and the Philippines; two Global Union Federations representing education and public service workers, and key unions in health care, energy and water utilities.

Unions are also among more than 1,000 organizations that have signed the Global Frackdown for Paris.

“In Argentina we have witnessed the heroic resistance to fracking being led by the Mapuche people in Neuquén province,” said Adolfo “Fito” Aguirre of Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina. “The YPF-Chevron agreement to frack for shale gas and oil has led to heavy police repression of activists, and homes of Mapuche residents have been burned to the ground. The prospect of high-volume fracking in Argentina will lead to even more resistance–we need a global response.”

  • If you or your union would like more information about this initiative, please contact UAF here.
  • Local, national and international level unions are all invited to sign on.
  • Resources for unions on fracking here.

The Statement:

We Call for a Global Moratorium on Fracking

We are national trade union centers, global union federations, and individual unions representing millions of workers in the global North and South.

We call for a global moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas, coal seam gas, and shale oil.

Fracking is happening or is being proposed in a growing number of countries. In Argentina and Canada indigenous people have led the resistance, and in Bulgaria and Romania farmers have engaged in direct action against the gas companies.

Fracking has led to attacks on land rights, and the large amounts of water used in fracking also threatens to increase water scarcity in areas where water supply and access pose real problems for people, particularly those in poor rural communities.

In almost every country or region where fracking is either proposed or already happening it has met determined opposition from a wide array of people and organizations.

The experience of fracking in the United States since 2002 has shown that the process threatens the health and quality of life of communities situated near drilling sites.

There are tens of thousands of shale gas wells in the U.S. alone – and water contamination is a known result of drilling. The high-volume use of carcinogenic chemicals such as silica also poses a threat to health, particularly to workers on drilling sites and who handle the wastewater from fracking. In the U.S. companies are not even required by law to disclose the chemicals used in the process.

We are also concerned about the impact of fugitive methane from drilling sites on global warming. Recent drill-site and atmospheric studies show high levels of methane leakage — suggesting that shale gas is worse than coal in terms of its impact on the atmosphere.

In calling for global a moratorium on fracking, our unions stand in solidarity with all communities, municipalities, regions and nations who have already introduced moratoriums or are attempting to do so.

National Trade Union Organizations and Global Union Federations

  • Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Central de Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA)
  • Central Unitaria de Trabajadores Del Perú (CUT)
  • Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) Brazil
  • Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB)
  • Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Québec (CSN)
  • Federatia Sindicatelor Independente din Educatie (FSIE) Romania
  • General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (नेपाल ट्रेड यूनियन महासंघ)
  • Global Nurses United
  • Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Mangagawa (SENTRO) Philippines
  • Public Services International (PSI)
  • Education International (EI)

Individual Unions, Including Regional and Branch/Local Level Affiliates

  • Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) United States and Canada
  • Associated Musicians of Greater New York
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • EL & IT Forbundet (Norway)
  • Federação Única dos Petroleiros–FUP (National Oilworkers Federation)  Brazil
  • Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado del Perú  (FENTAP)
  • Federación de Trabajadores de la Energia de la República Argentina, (Federation of Energy Workers-FETERA)
  • Fire Brigades Union (FBU) UK
  • National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)  Australia
  • Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet)
  • National Union of Workers (Australia)
  • National Nurses United (NNU), United States
  • New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) United States
  • Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) UK
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) UK
  • Unión de Trabajadores de la Educación de Rio Negro (UnTER), Argentina
  • University and College Union (UCU) UK
  • Water Workers Union at EYATH, Thessaloniki, Greece

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

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