Utility Workers to Sponsor Plane Banner over Super Bowl Publicizing United Water Criminal Indictment
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Utility Workers Union of America will sponsor a plane banner over the Super Bowl on February 5, 2012 to publicize the ongoing criminal prosecution of United Water for alleged environmental felonies.
The banner will fly over Super Bowl Village, Lucas Oil Stadium, and downtown Indianapolis from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5 to promote a UWUA website detailing a 26-count federal criminal indictment pending against the for-profit water utility company.
On December 8, 2010, a federal grand jury issued an indictment charging that United Water and two of its managers tampered with E. coli bacteria monitoring tests at a Gary, Indiana wastewater treatment plant between 2003 and 2008. Prosecutors allege that United Water manipulated the monitoring tests as part of a scheme to reduce its costs for purchasing chlorine, which is used as a disinfectant before the plant discharges treated sewage into a public waterway near Chicago.
United Water and the two managers have pleaded not guilty in the case.
The UWUA has criticized public statements by top management of the company seeking to minimize the seriousness of the charges. In a press release issued the same day as the indictment, United Water President Robert Iacullo stated that “the government’s claim is, at best, a disagreement about operating and monitoring methods, with no allegation of environmental harm.”
“We are astonished by United Water’s claim that this indictment involves a ‘disagreement about operating and monitoring methods,’” stated UWUA National Vice President John Duffy. “United Water stands accused of tampering with E. coli monitoring reports over a five year period – for wastewater discharges into a major urban area – merely to boost its profits.” If convicted, the two indicted managers could face decades in prison, and the company subjected to a significant fine and probation.
The UWUA website – available at www.UnitedWaterIndictment.net – includes copies of the indictment, internal United Water emails released by prosecutors, and additional information concerning the case. The site also includes additional information concerning United Water, including a series of recent complaints issued by the National Labor Relations Board charging the company with violations of federal labor law.
United Water is a wholly-owned subsidiary of French multinational Suez Environnement.
The Utility Workers Union of America represents working men and women in the utility and related industries throughout the U.S., including United Water employees in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. UWUA members are committed to promoting the highest quality and safest utility services possible. We believe that 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.
For more information:
Mark Brooks, 615/259-1186
SOURCE Utility Workers Union of America