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Move to privatise conservancy services stirs workers, divides residents

The battle over Greater Chennai Corporation’s efforts to privatize solid waste collection has intensified. “As expected, this led to protests by the trade unions of Chennai Corporation, who came together under the umbrella Federation of Associations against Privatization in Chennai Corporation and staged various agitations. This forced the civic body to postpone the opening of bids, which was scheduled during the last week of October, by a month. Now, it is learnt that the civic body has further postponed the opening of bids to December 7. The conservancy workers, especially those who are working on daily wage and contract basis, are apprehensive that they would lose their jobs once private firms took over the works. ‘If the Corporation privatize conservancy works, many would lose their jobs. The private company would not pay minimum wage to workers,’ alleged P. Srinivasalu, general secretary of Chennai Corporation Redflag Union.”


The London Borough of Tower Hamlets ditches its outsourcing contract with Veolia

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is to take its waste collection, recycling and street cleansing service in-house from April 2020, ditching its outsourcing contract with Veolia. Mayor John Biggs said “this marks the first step in the council’s move towards the delivery of an improved service. It follows on from our recent waste consultation, which generated a huge range of responses from local people and businesses. It’s an important decision and one I’m determined we get right for our residents and the staff involved. I am committed to keeping our streets clean, increasing recycling and making the borough cleaner and greener.” Nearly 50% of contracts are due to expire by the end of 2019.

Source: Materials Recycling World

Documents (6)

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Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2018

"The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The report was launched on 9 July, the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York by a global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions.


SDG 11 To ensure sustainable waste services, we must value waste workers and make sure they are in decent jobs (by Daria Cibrario, (PSI)

This chapter is an extract from the civil society report "Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2018". Waste collection and management are essential public services for every community and are necessary for the protection of public health and the environ- ment. Quality waste-related services are critical to urban management and policies, they underpin thriving local economies and are vital to ensure public spaces can be enjoyed by everyone. Whenever urban waste services and management systems are poor or fail, inhabitants suffer bad living conditions – especially those in the poorest neighbourhoods and slums – and social discontent rises. It is no surprise the issue of waste services is often a hot topic in local government elections worldwide.


Norwegian municipalities bringing social services back into public hands (by Bjørn Pettersen and Nina Monsen)

This article discusses the processes of remunicipalisation in Norway. In recent years, 21 services have been de-privatised and brought back into public hands in municipalities across the country. This wave of de-privatisations comes after a change in political leadership in many municipalities after the local elections of 2015. Cooperation between the trade unions, the municipal administrations and the local politicians has been fundamental in these remunicipalisation processes.

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