24 Mar 2010

Fertilizer campaign!

I am so so so busy, so normal service is unlikely to be resumed for a little while.

However I am very pleased to have had an email from Guy Taylor of Globalise Resistance, who is doing brilliant work to oppose a Russian fertilizer giant expanding amidst problems with pollution and workers rights.

Politicians in France have joined environmentalists on both sides of the Channel in protests at the new fertilizer factory - saying they want to prevent a tragedy similar to the 2001 explosion at a AZF fertilizer plant in Toulouse which killing 31 people.

Kagarlitsky said: “UralChem has a dismal safety record in Russia, and we cannot allow the company’s access to EU markets to take precedence over safety concerns.”

Guy Taylor for the London based campaign Stop UralChem UK said: “Workers and residents of the towns where UralChem operates in Russia know only too well that this company puts profits before safety and the environmental.”

French senator Marie-Christine Blandin said: “Allowing UralChem to establish a plant in Dieppe is to ignore the lessons of AZF. We urge our British colleagues to demand that the French government step in to avert a catastrophe.”

UralChem is seeking an urgent share sale in London to help pay down its mammoth debts. In February it hired investment banks UBS, Morgan Stanley and Renaissance Capital to lead a $600m listing of a 20-30 percent stake in company through the London Stock Exchange.

The Stop UralChem campaign is holding an invite only roundtable discussion on Wednesday 31st March at 1pm - 6pm at Birkbeck College, university of London in Bloomsbury, Central London beginning with a press conference. For information on obtaining an invitation email news@the-sauce.org.

Environmentalists and those concerned with workers' rights and welfare have been asked to sign a public letter from the Socio Ecological Union in Russia

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