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Water Privatization Threatens Workers, Consumers and Local Economies

Water Privatization Threatens Workers, Consumers and Local Economies

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Our country’s good public operators have kept water safe and affordable for most households, but despite their successes, they are coming under attack. Private control of water is threatening their jobs, their livelihoods and the wellbeing of entire communities.
Our country’s good public operators have kept water safe and affordable for most households, but despite their successes, they are coming under attack. Private control of water is threatening their jobs, their livelihoods and the wellbeing of entire communities.

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Published by: Food and Water Watch on May 19, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/30/2010

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Water PrivatizationThreatens Workers,Consumers and LocalEconomies
 
“The American Labor Movement has consistentlydemonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is,and has been, good for all America.” 
-John F. Kennedy
 
Our country’s good public operators have kept water safe and affordable formost households, but despite their successes, they are coming under attack.Private control of water is threatening their jobs, their livelihoods and the wellbeing of entire communities.Multinational water corporations are trying to convince elected officialsthat privatization is a miracle cure for budget deficits and aging water lines.They claim that it will reduce operational costs, but they neglect to advertisethat any savings will come from cutting corners, downsizing the workforce,decreasing salaries and wages and impeding unionization. They will turn apublic resource and service into a profit center.These practices are irresponsible. They can lead to service problems andmaintenance delays. What’s more, because companies tend to just pocketthe difference in labor costs, ratepayers and taxpayers are unlikely to seetheir bills reduced.Because of high bills and lost jobs and income, privatization can negatively affect local economies. While workers spend their hard-earned dollars intheir community, the multinational corporations operating municipal watersystems send earnings generated locally overseas to international stock-holders. So, in effect, they transfer money out of town when they cut laborcosts to increase their profits.There are three main ways that private operation and management of waterand sewer systems can affect workers and their communities.

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