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Fri April 16 2021

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Vinci files lawsuit over forced labour allegations

25 Mar 15 Vinci has hit back at allegations about its treatment of migrant labour in Qatar and is filing a defamation lawsuit in return.

Paris-based human rights organisation Sherpa had filed a complaint against Vinci Construction Grands Projets alleging forced labour offences against in relation to migrant labour working on World Cup 2022 infrastructure for Vinci’s Qatari subsidiary, QDVC.

Vinci has decided to file a lawsuit against Sherpa “whose slanderous allegations constitute a serious attack on our image”. It has also invited Sherpa representatives, and any journalists who so wish, to visit its building sites and living quarters in order to inspect working and living conditions.

The company has been working in Qatar via QDVC since 2007 and employs 3,500 people in the country. “We have repeatedly welcomed unions, international NGOs and journalists onto our building sites,” it said. “They have ascertained that we do more than merely comply with local labour law and respect fundamental rights. All QDVC employees are free to retrieve their passports at any time, and we strictly observe working hours and rest time.

“Vinci strives to improve employee working and living conditions throughout the world. This is the case in Qatar, where we have built new housing facilities at the beginning of this year in order to provide our workers with better living conditions. Moreover, 70% of our workers decide to return to QDVC and sign new two-year contracts when their previous contracts expire and they return from their holidays.”

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