The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500

New Food & Water Watch Study Reveals Privatized Water Systems Result in Job Losses


New analysis released today by the national consumer advocacy group
Food & Water Watch finds that privatizing municipal water systems
threatens jobs and negatively affects local economies. Water Privatization Threatens Workers, Consumers and Local Economies
finds that while multinational corporations often claim to reduce
operational costs, they do so by cutting corners, downsizing essential
employees, decreasing salaries and impeding union activity.

"The facts clearly state that privatization is bad for workers,
consumers and local economies," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director
of Food & Water Watch. "Multinational water corporations are not
beholden to the workers or communities where they operate, but to
shareholders overseas. By cutting jobs and offering lower salaries,
privatizing water systems takes money out of communities while turning
a public resource into a profit center." The research reveals three
primary ways that private operation and management of water systems can
negatively affect workers and communities:

  • Corporate utility takeovers lead to an average job loss of 35 percent.
  • Workers earn 7.4 percent less at private utilities and accrue fewer benefits than their public sector counterparts.
  • Union
    density is 15 percent lower in private utilities than in publically
    owned ones and management aggressively impedes union organizing in
    private utility systems.

Water Privatization Threatens Workers, Consumers and Local Economies is available online at:

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500