CUPE fights water privatization
at World Water Forum
CUPE News Release
KYOTO, JAPAN, March 14 /CNW/ - Three leaders from the
Canadian Union of Public Employees have just arrived in
Japan to speak out against corporate control of the world's
water at the third World Water Forum. The forum starts
Sunday, and the main debate will be the privatization
of the world's water systems. About 10,000 people will
be attending the forum, including government leaders,
CEO's of global water corporations, environment groups
and labour unions.
"Our mission is to remind world leaders that water
is a human right, not
a commodity to be sold off to the highest bidder,"
says Claude Généreux, CUPE's National Secretary-Treasurer,
and leader of the delegation. He says the privatization
of water has had disastrous consequences in many countries
around the world. "Water should be delivered by the
public sector in the public interest. We can't let our
most precious natural resource fall into the hands of
a small group of multinational corporations."
Already global water corporations are pressing cash-strapped
governments across Canada to privatize their water systems.
But CUPE is fighting this push to privatize, speaking
out for stronger public water systems. In Japan, Claude
Généreux is joined by two CUPE leaders who
have fought water privatization in their own backyards:
Frank Morrissey, with CUPE 416, represents water and wastewater
workers in Toronto and Barbara Plews, from CUPE 287, is
president of the municipal workers union in North Battleford,
"Japan might seem like a long way from North Battleford,"
"But the issues that are being debated at the World
Water Forum are the same issues that municipal leaders
are debating in my city. In Japan, we'll also be debating
the international trade deals that make it easier for
multinational corporations to cross borders and privatize
our water systems. I want to meet other concerned citizens,
to find out how I can fight these multinationals before
they come to North Battleford, and other communities in