Global union federation Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) confirms the commitment made by QDVC and VINCI Group to ensure workers’ rights during follow-up audit in Qatar
9 March 2022 - 8:30 am - Events - Qatar
BWI and the trade union representatives of VINCI (CGT, CFDT, CFE-CGC and FO) conducted a second audit of QDVC (a Qatari company owned by Qatari Diar and VINCI Construction Grands Projets) operations, sites and workers’ accommodation in Qatar on 26 and 27 October 2021. The audit comes as a follow-up to the first audit conducted in 2019, as part of the implementation of the agreement signed in 2017 on workers’ rights between BWI, VINCI and QDVC.
No major issues were identified by the auditors. Notable highlights included:
· Closing out of areas of improvement identified during the 2019 audit.
· Integration of health & safety policies across QDVC’s operations, leading to remarkable safety records: a frequency rate of 0.6 and a gravity rate of 0.010 based on 321 million hours worked between 2009 and 2021, including all employees on site (241,000 persons).
· Initiatives taken to support workers facing hardship as a result of the pandemic, including continuing to pay full wages and providing free psycho-social assistance.
· Continuous assessment and monitoring of manpower providers and subcontractors, raising the overall rights of workers and welfare standards across QDVC’s supply chain.
· QDVC was mentioned for its pioneering role in setting up an efficient Workers’ Welfare Committee in Qatar (third cycle of elections organized in 2021 with a participation rate of 93%) enabling workers to develop trust in the dialogue process and towards the company management. This was backed by a consistent track record of demands and grievances being resolved.
BWI and the French unions involved in the audit made a series of recommendations, such as:
· Enhancing the roles and responsibilities of worker representatives in addressing collective grievances regarding employment conditions, improved transparency in relation to salary grids, promotions and rises, and a protected status.
· Monitoring and tracking psychosocial risks, which are a serious health concern.
· Continuing CSR due diligence with subcontractors, especially the smallest ones.
· Continuing to prevent deceptive recruitment practices in collaboration with BWI, focusing on target communities where foreign workers come from.
It is worth mentioning that the pilot PPP (Public-Private Partnership) between the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Project Office in Qatar and QDVC on fair recruitment of workers has enabled workers to be recruited fairly, not burdened with debts, and informed about their rights and working conditions prior to their departure1
The objectives of the project were therefore fulfilled.
The full BWI audit report can be accessed here:
Ambet Yuson, Secretary General of BWI: “This second audit underlines the importance of cooperation rooted in the terms of our International Framework Agreement. BWI and representatives from French unions were pleased to see progress in many areas, supported by the company's keen commitment to promoting transparency and to live up to health and safety and workers’ welfare standards. However, as trade union inspectors, we will continue to be critical observers and identify areas for further improvement. Together with QDVC and VINCI, we have travelled a long road to set up effective representation and grievance handling structures. The BWI is ready to continue on this path for even greater effectiveness and sustainability in the long run.”
Roberto Strigi, CEO of QDVC: “Against the challenging backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, it is QDVC’s duty to continue maintaining and improving its QHSE and CSR standards for its workforce. We were pleased be able to organize a follow-up audit with BWI and trade union representatives. Conducting audits is a vital exercise to ensure not only safety standards but also that workers’ rights in terms of collective representation are safeguarded along with their mental and physical well-being. We hope this report will highlight the practices implemented to protect the rights of our workers and our subcontractors.”
Sarah Tesei, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility of VINCI: “By engaging with unions and seeking their critical input, VINCI showcases its willingness to be transparent and continuously make progress in these complex and sensitive issues. The level of cooperation with and trust in BWI has proven to be very constructive year after year and will leave a meaningful legacy for workers.”
VINCI is a global player in concessions, construction and energy businesses, employing more than 260,000 people in some 100 countries. We design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and facilities that help improve daily life and mobility for all. Because we believe in all-round performance, we are committed to operating in an environmentally, socially responsible and ethical manner. And because our projects are in the public interest, we consider that reaching out to all our stakeholders and engaging in dialogue with them is essential in the conduct of our business activities. Based on that approach, VINCI’s ambition is to create long-term value for its customers, shareholders, employees, partners and society in general. www.vinci.com
QDVC P.Q.S.C is a Private Qatari Shareholding Company with a proven track record of delivering design and build large and complex construction projects of international standards and tailored to the needs of its clients. Established under the Qatari Laws since April 2007, QDVC stems from the association of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (Qatari Diar) and VINCI Construction Grands Projets (VCGP). Qatari Diar is incorporated in Qatar and acting as the Qatari partner with 51% and VCGP is incorporated in France and acting as the non-Qatari partner with 49%. The symbiotic association between the two leaders has resulted in a company with international expertise and local insight, to undertake engineering and construction services for major development Projects. QDVC wide range of competencies allows to encompass the role of concept design, project management design and detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance. www.qdvc.com
About Building and Wood Worker's International
BWI (Building and Wood Workers’ International) is the only Global Union Federation grouping free and democratic unions with members in Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry and Allied sectors. The BWI groups together 385 trade unions representing around 12 million members in 127 countries. www.bwint.org