February 3, 2012
St. Louis, Mo. The City Council of Arnold, Mo. rejected a proposed scheme to sell the City’s sewer system to Missouri American Water in a closed session of the Council on February 2, 2012. The Utility Workers Union of America, which represents workers of Missouri American in the greater St. Louis area, helped to spearhead community opposition to the proposal.
“We are pleased the City Council rejected this flawed scheme to sell Arnold’s sewer system to this profit-driven company,” stated Tom Schneider, President of UWUA Local 335 in St. Louis.
The UWUA announced its opposition to the scheme after Missouri American made an unsolicited bid to buy Arnold’s sewer system in late 2011. The Union’s analysis of the proposal – published on its website at www.StopArnoldSewerSale.com – demonstrated major shortcomings for Arnold ratepayers, including a nearly 20% sewer rate hike and a proposed ban on any City opposition to future rate increases before the state Public Service Commission.
The UWUA represents employees of Missouri American’s parent corporation, American Water, in eleven states across the U.S. UWUA members at American Water have first-hand experience with the company’s philosophy of placing corporate profits ahead of all other concerns.
In St. Louis, for example, members of Local 335 have been working without a new labor agreement for months because of management demands to impose unfair concessions, including the unlimited right to eliminate every employee’s job through outside contracting.
During 2011, the UWUA successfully mobilized community opposition to American Water’s attempt to win a 30-year operation and maintenance contract for the water and wastewater system in Rialto, California. The Rialto City Council rejected the proposal in June 2011, after hundreds of residents packed City Hall to voice opposition to the deal.
The UWUA also joined with community allies in 2010 to successfully block American Water’s attempt to purchase the suburban water system in Trenton, New Jersey. Voters in Trenton rejected the proposed sale in June 2010 by a 4-1 margin.
The UWUA represents working men and women in the utility industry throughout the U.S., including 2,500 employees of American Water. UWUA members are committed to promoting the highest quality and safest utility services possible. We believe utility companies that treat the communities and customers they serve with respect, consideration, and the highest ethical and legal standards will also treat employees fairly.