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SC, BWI agreement a commitment to ensuring workers' welfare: Thawadi

SC, BWI agreement a commitment to ensuring workers' welfare: Thawadi


Tribune News Network
Doha
The first joint inspections by Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), the global trade union for construction workers, on 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar projects is a significant milestone for the organisation's workers' welfare journey, said SC Secretary-General Hassan al Thawadi.
In accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by SC Secretary-General Hassan al Thawadi and BWI's General Secretary Ambet Yuson in November 2016, a number of BWI representatives consisting of its affiliates from the United Kingdom and Finland travelled to Doha to undertake the first of several joint inspections planned for 2017.
The agreement is initially in effect for one year.
Thawadi said,"This agreement with BWI highlights our commitment to ensuring the highest levels of workers' welfare standards and compliance across all of our sites. We have always been open, transparent and committed to working together with well-respected international partners who share our vision of achieving sustainable change in this area.
"The initial feedback from BWI has been constructive. It demonstrates the value of entering into this agreement. The Joint Working Group will now study the outcomes of these inspections and a report will be published in due course."
The joint inspections cover all workers on SC projects. However, the first joint inspections cover projects built by multi-national companies headquartered in countries where workers are represented by BWI member trade unions.
To date, the companies that fall under the agreement are from Austria, Belgium, Italy, India and Cyprus.
The inspections were carried out by a Joint Working Group (JWG) formed to manage the inspections and reporting process. Representatives from BWI spent two days with SC staff, including representatives from the SC's Workers' Welfare Division (WWD), Health and Safety Division (HSSE) and Technical Delivery Office (TDO).
The visit began at Al Wakrah Stadium. As agreed, BWI were provided access to the site to inspect OHS practices on site and speak to workers about their conditions and treatment on the project.
The BWI inspectors were also provided access to living accommodation facilities and spoke to workers about their situations and experiences.
Ky'f6sti Suokas, vice-president of Rakennusliitto, said:"We are pleased that the inspections have begun so soon after the effective date of the agreement on January 1, 2017. Our delegation was encouraged by the openness of the process to participate in the joint inspections where we had the opportunity to speak with workers about their working and living conditions."
The joint inspections followed the death of Zac Cox at Khalifa International Stadium last month. The trip to Doha gave the BWI delegation the opportunity to discuss the fatality and subsequent investigation.
Besides, since the Al Wakrah Stadium was the site of the death of Anil Kuman Pasman last October, the BWI delegation were also able to review the corrective measures that have been put in place to prevent similar incidents.

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