3 October 2019: The video highlighting the election process of QDVC’s Workers’ Welfare Committee (WWC) was released today.
On 8 to 9 January 2019, the BWI delegation led by General Secretary Ambet Yuson and representatives of French trade unions (CGT, CFDT and CFE/CGC) from VINCI 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.
This joint audit was the result of an agreement on workers’ rights signed in 2017 between BWI, VINCI and QDVC at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva.
“The engagement process between BWI and VINCI, which dates back to 2014, led to the agreement”. Frank Mougin, Executive Vice President of VINCI for Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility, recalled the first time he met Ambet (BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson) in 2014 and concluded that “With BWI, we rapidly reached the same conclusion; the need for more protection of the workers.”
Philippe Tavernier, CEO of QDVC stated, “The agreement with BWI is quite wide as it is related to the full scope of the well-being of the workers. It was a way to demonstrate our readiness to listen, to improve, and to share with international organizations our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices in Qatar.”
As part of this audit, the delegation was able to observe the election process of QDVC’s Workers’ Welfare Committee (WWC).
In observing the election process, Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary, stated, “The election of workers representatives is essential to the issue of worker’s representation and I have seen it. I was able to observe the election of workers representative through the committees in Qatar, particularly in the site of VINCI and QDVC. I have seen the energy. I have seen that workers are excited about electing their representatives. I have seen that the workers understand why they are electing their workers representative and that this kind of process empowers the workers.”
For many of the Workers’ Welfare Committee representatives, campaigning was a learning experience. According to one representative, “The Election for me was an adventure. When I campaigned for votes, I learned how to relate to voters, understand their problems, and how to solve them. I think I learned a lot and it will help me even in my life and career. I can share the problems faced by the workers in the committee and we can find a solution to the workers’ problems together whether it is economical or work-related.”
The WWC has met every two months since the elections and has addressed a number of concerns raised by workers. In October 2019, BWI will provide leadership development and capacity building training for the newly elected representatives and the subcontractors of QDVC.