On 29 September protests were held in London, Kyiv and in Nottinghamshire in solidarity with workers on strike at Veolia and in protest at the ongoing business operations by this company in Russia.
The day before the protest at the UK HQ of Veolia the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign received an email from Cory Reynolds, Corporate Affairs Director, UK, Northern Europe in what was a clear attempt to intimidate this campaign. This stated:
We have been made aware of a potential protest by the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign outside Veolia UK’s head office in London on Friday of this week: https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2023/09/22/solidarity-with-workers-on-strike-at-veolia/ The article advertising this protest includes quotes from the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and refers to the ongoing dispute at Veolia Nottinghamshire, and accordingly I am writing to you to clarify certain matters. Nottinghamshire County Council procures recycling and waste services from Veolia UK, a business entity with no legal, financial or operational ties with the Veolia Group’s Russian affiliate. We do not believe these two issues are being fairly or reasonably conflated. Furthermore, the image being used to advertise this protest is of our staff and GMB members, taken in April 2022 at an unrelated event at our Alperton depot. This event was not a protest, nor does it relate to the ongoing negotiations in Nottinghamshire. We understand from communication with the GMB that they did not provide this image or the quote published on the advert for the protest. These are therefore unrelated instances and are very likely to cause confusion when used for a political campaign. This image includes Veolia buildings and Veolia employees and we are concerned that ongoing circulation of this image could put our staff in an uncomfortable position. I would therefore request that you remove this image from the website by 5pm today and refrain from using this image in future. I also request that you confirm by return that the aforementioned action has been taken. Cory Reynold
Despite this Ukraine Solidarity campaigners proceeded to protest at the London HQ as planned, and speakers included Ukrainian activist Anastasya Spivak, John McDonnell MP and Lambath UNISON Secretary Simon Hannah.
Despite wartime conditions activists of Sotcialny Rukh (Social Movement) in Ukraine protested at the HQ of Veolia in Kyiv also.
The Ukraine Solidarity Campaign will continue to build support for the explioted workers at Veolia and expose this company which is operating in Putin’s Russia whilst a barbaric war is being waged on the people of Ukraine.