Date: 22 March 2006
Trade union makes international links to fight water privatisation
UNISON, Scotland's main water union will be joining trade unions
across Europe and worldwide in the campaign against the privatisation
of water services on World Water Day (Wednesday 22 March).
UNISON Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said: "Across the world
there is a major fightback against the privatisation of probably
the most vital of public services water and wastewater. The exemption
of water from new GATS requests shows that the global campaign against
the EU's push for the privatisation of water services is starting
to have an impact. But the battle is not yet won. In Scotland we
are demonstrating our support by resisting calls for the privatisation
of Scotland's water."
UNISON Scotland is using World Water Day to highlight specific
Scottish concerns over water privatisation including:
* Regulatory and political pressure to privatise Scotland¹s public
water and wastewater services.
* The backdoor privatisation of Scotland¹s water through expensive
* The inclusion of water in the Services Directive promoting Europe
* Whilst welcoming the exclusion of 'water for human use' from
the latest EU GATS offer wastewater services remains on the negotiating
* The misuse of development aid in promoting private water companies.
The key European trade union demands are:
* Recognise safe and reliable drinking water and waste water services
as a human right.
* No liberalisation of water services. Demonstrate our concerns
regarding the EU Commission plans to promote competition in water
* Stop promoting the private sector (through PPPs) in developing
countries. Priority should be given to the public sector (95% of
water services worldwide are publicly provided).
* Water and other public services should remain outside of the
scope of the Services/ Bolkestein Directive.
* The EU Commission should withdraw its request to developing countries
to open wastewater services as part of the negotiations on GATS.
For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser)
0845 355 0845 (w) 07958 122 409 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)