PSI affiliate the Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Central Labour Union (WAPDA) is fighting the latest misguided privatisation push in Pakistan. The union is mobilising members from across the country and is reaching out to community groups, academics and elected officials to resist the pressure from the IMF, the World Bank, and possibly the USA to privatise not only the national electricity system but also a number of other public assets.
Nigeria is privatising the public power holding company, and employees were forced at gunpoint to listen to speeches from the Minister of Power and the Minister of Labour. "Is Nigeria still a military dictatorship?" asks PSI in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan.
On 18 July, electricity staff in Pakistan will be celebrating Safety Day to promote a safer preventive culture in all the workplaces of the country’s largest national public utility. The employers are also promoting this special day, to encourage workers to observe safety regulations and avoid accidents.
On 4 March 2012, leaders of the Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Labour Union threatened to suspend supply of electricity in Sindh in the first phase of their protest if the government does not shelve privatisation plan of Wapda, end load-shedding and bring down the power tariff.
Public Services International sent a letter to Pakistani trade unions on 20 December 2011 strongly supporting the national mobilisation against privatisation of the electricity sector. Experience shows that electricity privatisation is a disaster for almost all involved, except perhaps a very few who manage to squeeze profits from rising tariffs, reduced wages, increased outsourcing and precarious labour, and other unethical practices.
The Desertec plan is a highly ambitious, large-scale project designed to harness renewable energy such as solar and wind power to generate large amounts of electricity. It will do this by establishing solar as well as wind plants in the Sahara desert in countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
This report examines the electricity and water sectors in North African and Middle Eastern countries. It consists of three sections. The first section examines the political, economic and global context as of September 2011. The second section examines the water sector. The third section examines the electricity sector.
The National Union of Electricity Employees deplored the Nigerian government’s deployment of troops on 14 November to guard public power company installations nationwide. They described the action as irrational, considering that talks are still ongoing over the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
PSI utilities officer David Boys tells us about the nature and mechanisms of worldwide privatization of key public services such as water, energy, waste treatment and pension funds in an interview at the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar.