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No further action in the SHERPA case

6 February 2018 - 12:20 am

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The French public prosecutor of Nanterre has decided to take no further action regarding the complaint made by the association SHERPA against VINCI concerning the latter’s activities in Qatar.

As VINCI has stated all along, it endeavours not only to observe local employment law and fundamental rights, but also to make constant improvements to the working and living conditions of its employees, whether in Qatar or anywhere else in the world.

As also stated previously in this case, it has opened up its sites to the unions, to staff representatives, to international NGOs and to journalists on a number of occasions. Those observers have concluded that employees of VINCI’s subsidiary Qatari Diar VINCI Construction (QDVC) have unimpeded access to their passports and that working hours and rest periods are strictly observed. They have also verified that VINCI regularly builds new housing units as to provide its workers with good accommodation. VINCI notes that at the end of their contracts, more than 70% of its workers decide, coming back from holidays, to return to QDVC to sign a new 2-year contract.

Following discussions which started in December 2014, well before SHERPA’s complaint was filed, the Group signed an agreement on workers’ rights in Qatar with the Building and Wood Worker’s International (BWI) and with VINCI’s subsidiary QDVC. This agreement was officially signed at the headquarters of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. The agreement concerns human rights in the workplace, housing, the fairness of recruitment conditions and workers’ rights. It applies to all QDVC workers in Qatar and provides for a due diligence procedure for subcontractors. It is the first agreement of its kind concluded in Qatar between a union federation and a Qatari company.