July 30, 2021

AFSCME members protest proposed sale of city water service

Ahead of a presentation at the July 26 Rock Island City Council meeting by the private corporation pushing to take over the city's water service, AFSCME Local 988 members sounded the alarm about the privatization scheme with a robust informational picket.

For months, public works employees have been fighting the sale of the public water service to American Water, a billion-dollar multinational corporation that makes its profits by buying up public water systems. 

AFSCME is fighting the sale because such schemes take public services out of public hands, making them less transparent and less accountable to local residents. And corporate owners often drive up costs to residents while cutting corners on quality in pursuit of private profit.

In fact, a recent report found toxic chemicals in drinking water provided by American Water in Davenport. And the company just raised the rates it charges to local residents for the second time in four years.

“I don’t think something like water should be used for profit,” AFSCME Local 988 member Graeme Jewell told reporters. “The city’s not trying to make a profit. They’re just trying to maintain what they have and build on it to make it better in the future.”

Local 988 was supported at the action by fellow AFSCME members from Locals 1132, 1234, 672, 2025 and 2615.

Related News

There are no related news stories.