Bridgeport WCPA Workers Speak Out

Union employees at the Bridgeport Water Pollution Control Authority (WCPA) are fighting to protect the quality of their services as they mobilize against their employer's preoccupation with continuing to outsource plant operations.

The current plant operator, KGI, has a contract that expires Dec. 31, 2013. Eager to select an English company (Severn Trent), the WPCA has refused to engage plant workers in any meaningful discussions about their future.

The workers are planning a rally on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 at 6 p.m. in front of Bridgeport City Hall. (Scroll down for the flyer.)

“Call it what you want: privatization, outsourcing, outside contracting. I call it irresponsible,” said Dave Jensen, a plant maintainer and AFSCME Local 1303-459 member. “The treatment plants and the collection systems are a public asset paid for by our tax dollars.”

Plant workers are represented by Council 4 Locals 1303-369 and 1303-459, Teamsters Local 145, IBEW Local 488 and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 777.

WPCA is responsible for Bridgeport’s entire wastewater system including the collection system and two wastewater treatment facilities. Nearly 90 highly trained union workers maintain this complex system that keeps Bridgeport and its harbor clean and safe from pollution.

The workers believe that mission is best fulfilled by keeping the facilities publicly owned and operated.

Here's what workers and community advocates had to say: