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Suez-Ondeo/United Water

Suez has 125 million customers in 40 countries with subsidiaries such as Ondeo and United Water. Their 2002 revenue was €6.4 billion which makes it the largest water corporation in the world. But the company is racked with debt, with a net loss in 2002 of $950 million, and continues to lose profits every quarter. Suez has lost several of its high profile contracts, such as Atlanta (US) and Puerto Rico and been forced to re-negotiate contracts in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Manila (the Philippines). It is no longer profitable being a shareholder of this multinational corporation. But nothing is as bad as being one of their customers. Suez has been scrambling to do whatever it takes to turn its financial fortunes around. That means that as water divisions Ondeo and United Water grab control of a city’s water system, a top priority is cutting costs, because low costs mean higher revenues. So, Suez slashes water system staffs to inadequate levels, fails to perform necessary maintenance, tries to delay or avoid altogether any costly infrastructure investments, screams for higher rates, more money from government or both, and blames public officials, or just the public, for all the company’s problems. Customers end up paying more for less.

NEW! Read the correspondence between Public Citizen and Suez:

May 13, 2005: Letter to United Water (U.S. Suez subsidiary) from Public Citizen
June 9, 2005: Reply from Suez
June 27, 2005: Letter to Suez from Public Citizen

Read the reports:
Corporate Profile: Suez/United Water pdf document [448 KB] en francaisen espanol

In the News:
2005
August: Suez will leave, but government plans re-privatization - Workers call 48 hour strike 
August: Bolivian government and Suez keep civil society in the dark 
August: The Failure of Suez in Santa Fe 
July 12: Suez Strikes Back in Bolivia 
July: Suez prepares to bring legal action against Bolivia in World Bank-related court 
June: Day of action against Suez’s exploitative practices 
June 17: Sonia Vihar plant a tough jinx to crack
April: United Water fails again 
January 24: Suez allowed to raise tariffs in Argentina 
January 19: Chirac to plead case of Suez in Argentina

2003
September 9: Suez' World Water Wars
Mexico's Water for Sale? French Multinational Wants Mexico's Water
August 23: Private droughts: The poor are not profitable, and foreign firms are pulling the plug
June 26: Suez – Degremont Kills Indian Workers
June 25: Activists blame Suez-Degremont for worker deaths
June 23: Halifax flushes P3 deal with Suez
June 21: Cleanup contract goes down the drain

Water for All initiated a new collaborative website to help coordinate our global campaign focusing on the water transnational, Suez. The website is tri-lingal and collects information regarding the abuses, problematic projects, community protests, and exploitative policies of Suez, Go to:
English - www.stopsuez.org
Spanish - www.fuerasuez.org
French - www.arretonssuez.org

    » cmep | Water | general | majorwater | suez


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