Why Target Veolia?



A leader in the global privatization of public services, Veolia holds contracts around the world in water & sanitation services, trash, and transportation. In addition to being the largest privatizer of water in the world, accusations of bribery, pollution, fraud, and work-place injuries (to cite just a few examples), until recently Veolia was also deeply connected to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, building and maintaining the infrastructure of Apartheid.

In Seattle & North America:  In 2008, King County Metro canceled its excellent contract with MV transport and awarded this contract to Veolia for 75% of the operation of the Metro Access paratransit program. 140 drivers lost their jobs or took pay cuts. There was a great deal of effort by the labor community to oppose the contract with Veolia; however, the county ignored these voices and proceeded with the Veolia contract.

The King County Veolia drivers have unionized! In November 2015 they voted for Teamsters 117, and on June 25, 2016 the drivers ratified their first contract with 94% approval. The drivers have an agreement with the County that the 2018 bid must include everything the drivers just won. Stop Veolia Seattle is organizing to prevent Veolia from getting this contract in the 2018 bid.

The other 25% of the Access contract is held by the nonprofit Solid Ground and organized by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587. Income from the Access contract funds their programs, but Solid Ground is hiding behind nonprofit status as it fails to compensate the Access drivers well. The drivers are now in negotiations and organizing to get what the Veolia drivers just got. We stand in active solidarity.

Veolia is involved in Union Busting in other cities as well, such as LAPhoenix and Boston.

Michigan Attorney General filed charges against Veolia on June 22, 2016 for its role in the lead poisoning of the Flint water supply, coverup, and interventions that made the problem worse.

Veolia has been found guilty of poisoning 3.6 million people in Lanzhou, China with excess benzene in the water supply, but a court has rejected citizens’ claims to compensation.

National and international campaigns against Veolia have been powerful. These efforts have forced Veolia to admit the toll that BDS and similar efforts have exacted on it financially.