More than a year after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Southwark Labour still refuse to condemn for Veolia for continuing to operate in Russia.
Southwark Liberal Democrats brought a motion to council assembly last night calling on the council to seek alternative waste management partners unless Veolia ceased operations in Russia.
Labour amended the motion to remove any mention of the French multinational waste company.
In November, Lib Dem councillors requested that Southwark call on Veolia to cease operations in Russia. Labour refused to do so.
Veolia makes over £100m from government and local authority contracts in the UK per year, whilst continuing to operate in Russia.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister named Veolia as a company that should be boycotted by those who support Ukraine against Russian aggression.
Cllr Adam Hood, who proposed the motion, said, “Veolia still operates in Russia. Whereas companies like McDonalds, Starbucks and Coca-Cola have pulled out of the country, Veolia seems content to carry on, seemingly deaf to the questionable morals of that decision.
Where companies operate contrary to our morals and values and will not change of their own accord, the council must act. If Veolia will not cease its Russian operations this council must stop supporting them financial through this partnership.”
Cllr Irina von Wiese, who seconded the motion, said, “We all know that every support of Putin’s regime, however indirect, props up his illegal war and the war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Councillors in Nottinghamshire, Maidstone, Sheffield City and Camden have all rightly questioned whether holding contracts with Veolia brings their council into disrepute. Why does Southwark lack the backbone to do the same?”
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