Publication of the first audit of workers’ conditions at QDVC by the global union federation BWI

The audit report mentions good practices and positive results, and suggests some additional areas for improvement. The QDVC Workers’ Welfare Committee elections were recognized as fair and open.

The global union federation BWI (Building and Wood Workers’ International) conducted the first on-site audit of the operations of QDVC (a Qatari company owned by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investments Company and VINCI Construction Grands Projets) in Qatar on 8 and 9 January 2019, accompanied by French trade union representatives (CGT, CFDT and CFE/CGC) from VINCI. This joint audit followed the agreement on workers’ rights signed in 2017 between BWI, VINCI and QDVC at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva. The audit was conducted at QDVC’s main project, the Lusail Light Railway Transit System (LRT), and at the workers’ accommodation.

  • It included interviews with workers on site, workers’ representatives and safety champions without management supervision;
  • On the second day, the ILO Project Office in Qatar and the Qatari Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) took part in a presentation of the ongoing pilot project between QDVC, the ILO and ADLASA, which aims to ensure the fair recruitment of workers hired in Bangladesh for Qatar by QDVC’s recruitment and placement agencies.
The audit covered recruitment and employment practices, health and safety, working conditions, accommodation and grievance mechanisms for all QDVC workers, including subcontractors and manpower providers. The findings of the audit emphasise QDVC’s fair recruitment and employment practices, the good level of health and safety observed at its sites, the safeguarding of workers’ rights and also proactive initiatives such as:
  • the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) safety programme;
  • the “buddy peer-support program” to prevent psycho-social risks;
  • the grievance mechanisms for employees and subcontractors.
The audit also noted that workers are paid above the minimum wage and are satisfied with their overall conditions. The main concern that they voice is the fear of unemployment due to the lack of commercial prospects matching QDVC’s business model. The auditors were able to attend the election of QDVC’s Workers’ Welfare Committee (WWC) and noted that the ballot and the counting of votes were carried out properly. · A month before the audit, 31 candidates campaigned to be elected to the WWC. The level of participation in the election was 84% (and increase of 12 points compared to the previous election), with 879 out of a total workforce of 1,047 casting their votes. QDVC had previously organized elections for its WWC in 2016, but this was the first time that an independent third party was able to observe and assess the process. BWI and the French unions participating in the audit suggested areas for improvement including:
  • providing WWC representatives with more time off to consult with other workers;
  • introducing better integration of the existing grievance mechanism and the WWC;
  • encouraging more detailed analysis of non-work-related accidents.
Following the audit, QDVC undertook to follow up the BWI recommendations, to continue with the training of the newly elected workers’ representatives and to increase collaboration in the area of fair recruitment of workers. The full audit report can be consulted at:

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