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Vinci unit to face French choose on Nov. 9 over labor situations in Qatar

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PARIS — French building group Vinci mentioned on Monday considered one of its items will face an investigating choose in Paris on Wednesday to reply costs that it violated the rights of migrant employees serving to to construct stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Vinci has repeatedly denied the claims by Paris-based human rights group Sherpa which in 2015 filed a grievance in a courtroom in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, in opposition to Vinci’s Development Grand Initiatives division and the managers of its 49%-owned Qatari unit QDVC for “compelled labor” and “conserving individuals in servitude.”

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That grievance was dismissed in January 2018.

In March 2019, Sherpa and one other NGO, the committee in opposition to trendy slavery (CCEM), alongside six former Indian and Nepalese QDVC employees, filed a brand new grievance in opposition to Vinci as civil claimants that Reuters reviewed. Afterward, 5 extra plaintiffs joined the grievance, in keeping with Sherpa.

Within the grievance, NGOs and former employees accuse the corporate of constructing migrant employees work 11 hours shifts six days per week, longer than Qatari regulation permits, in dire situations and at excessive threat for his or her private well being, for wages equal to 2% of Qatar’s common wage.

“It was an excessive amount of work,” learn an affidavit from a Nepalese man who labored for the corporate between Might 2015 and January 2016. “I used to be very drained on a regular basis.”

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One other man who labored as a safety guard from October 2012 to January 2014 testified there was no air-con within the rooms he labored in, regardless of warmth stress dangers that may result in coronary heart situations within the scorching Qatari climate.

“And I used to be in open areas, so it was not secure and all the time so scorching,” he mentioned within the testimony.

Vinci mentioned in a press release on Monday that it was “extraordinarily regrettable” that regardless of the proceedings having began seven years in the past, its subsidiary ought to face costs simply earlier than the beginning of the World Cup in Qatar.

“Not one of the initiatives awarded to QDVC has any reference to the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar. In truth these initiatives had been entrusted to QDVC earlier than the competitors was awarded to Qatar and primarily relate to move infrastructures,” it mentioned.

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“Vinci didn’t signal any contract with the Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy, and has not constructed any stadium or resort in Qatar,” it added.

It mentioned it might proceed to cooperate with the courts “with the target to point out that the allegations made in opposition to the group are unfair.”

Vinci shares had been down 2% at 93.99 euros by 0759 GMT.

QDVC is owned at 51% by Qatari Diar Actual Property Funding Firm, which is itself owned by the Qatar Funding Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the Qatar state. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Juliette Jabkhiro; Modifying by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and David Evans)


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