(14 February 2019) The majority of citizens successfully stopped the privatisation of water through a referendum.
54.6% of voters in Zurich canton opposed the government plan to allow a partial privatization of water utilities and to give private land owners a greater say in river and lakeshore. EPSU congratulates its Swiss affiliate VPOD with this important win in a fight to ensure public access to water. It shows once again the support of people for public ownership of water utilities.
Trade unions, left-leaning parties and environmental communities warned the canton government that the initiative would pave the way for multinationals to commercialize the use of drinking water. It will also undermine nature protection and limit public access to lake shores.
The privatization proposal, supported by right-wing SVP and center-right FDP, was seen by voters as nothing more than another attempt of deregulation of public services.
The EPSU affiliate VPOD – The Trade Union of Public Services of Switzerland will work together with the Zurich municipality and communities to ensure the further public access to water and other essential services. The union calls to strongly oppose the greedy privatization policy in the next regional elections, by voting for trade union representatives to become city council members. Following many similar battles and the remunicipalisation of privatized water companies it shows the continued support for #right2water for all Europeans