Sunday 16 December 2018

Qatar JV signs landmark agreement on workers' rights

GENEVA, November 21, 2017

Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) on Tuesday (November 21) officially signed a landmark agreement with QDVC, a joint venture between Qatari Diar Real Estate Investments Company and Vinci Construction Grands projects and another one with leading French construction major Vinci this month at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

BWI is a global union federation of democratic and free trade unions in the building, wood, building materials, forestry and allied industries.

This covers human rights at work, accommodations, and issues related to fair recruitment and employment rights of workers, said BWI’s general secretary, Ambet Yuson, after signing the deal with Vinci’s human resources director, Franck Mougin and QDVC's chief executive Philippe Tavernier at the International Labour organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

It applies to all workers employed by QDVC in Qatar, and includes due diligence with sub-contractors, stated Yukon at the signing ceremony held in the presence of Guy Ryder, the director general of ILO.
This agreement is a first-of-its-kind in Qatar between a union federation and a Qatari company. It includes an extensive system of follow-up, reporting, monitoring, inspection, and auditing under the authority of a reference group composed of representatives of the three parties.

All aspects of the implementation of the agreement will be reviewed by the parties.

The BWI groups together around 334 trade unions representing around 12 million members in 130 countries. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. Regional offices and project offices are located in Panama and Malaysia, South Africa, India, Burkina Faso, Chile, Kenya, Russia, Peru and Brazil.

As per the BWI deal, QDVC will be committed to apply the agreement to workers employed by sub-contractors and to use due diligence to ensure that the agreement is respected.

Early this month, during the 331st session of the ILO Governing Body, the Government of Qatar and ILO had signed a three-year technical co-operation agreement to ensure, for all workers, the respect of the fundamental principles and rights at work.

“This agreement with QDVC and Vinci, which complements and builds on our productive cooperation with the Steering Committee on Delivery and Legacy, is a major step towards the full respect of workers’ rights in Qatar," remarked Yuson.

"We look forward to working with QDVC and Vinci in our ongoing efforts to improve the working and living conditions of migrant construction workers in Qatar. As the text of the agreement indicates, it is ‘founded on the shared belief that all construction workers should be treated with dignity, and live and work in decent and safe conditions," he added.

Mougin said this was a major new step which highlighted Vinci's long-standing involvement on workers’ rights in Qatar.

Since 2009, the company has a pro-active approach towards fostering better working and living conditions for workers in Qatar.

"This agreement is unique of its kind because it is concrete and fully operational with specific commitments on various topics related to workers’ rights, safety and welfare. It is the concrete result of Vinci and QDVC past commitments on these topics with BWI as a key, major and reliable partner and should serve as an example for the construction industry," he added.

Tavernier said the QDVC is a major design and build engineering and construction company of international expertise which undertakes large complex projects fostering innovation embracing new technologies and making a difference with clients, partners and employees.

This agreement formalises the numerous initiatives undertaken by QDVC since its creation to improve labour recruitment practices, working conditions, accommodation, employment rights and grievance mechanisms, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Qatar | agreement | Vinci |

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