ABU DHABI // Working conditions for labourers employed on Saadiyat Island projects have improved, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
PwC surveyed 880 labourers for the fourth annual independent monitoring report on employment practices in Tourism Development and Investment Company projects on the island.
The report found in 2015 all workers interviewed had medical insurance and access to on-site medical care. All were in possession of their passports or had deposited them with employers willingly for safekeeping. All long-term workers — employed for 30 days or longer — on Saadiyat projects resided in the Saadiyat Accommodation Village (SAV).
Facilities within the SAV now include door-to-door laundry services, daily room cleanings, and enhanced recreational and sporting facilities, according to PwC.
Most workers, 99 per cent, signed a Site Assignment Agreement (SAA) in their native languages providing details of remuneration and working conditions and 93 per cent signed an SAA before commencing work, a requirement of TDIC’s employment practices policy.
Additionally, 90 per cent of workers received health and safety training on Saadiyat before employment. TDIC is doing further work to improve on health and safety awareness and action on site.
A pilot satisfaction survey of workers residing in SAV indicated 75 per cent of workers were “extremely satisfied” or “satisfied” with the quality of accommodation and facilities at the SAV complex.
“We are particularly pleased with PwC’s observations that our ongoing efforts in response to the monitoring programme have produced notable improvements for the support and conditions for workers, who are vital to delivering our ambitious construction programme,” said Ali Al Mansoori, TDIC’s chairman of the board. “These are issues of critical importance to TDIC, and we have worked hard over the years on enhanced enforcement actions for contractors and subcontractors. PwC’s findings demonstrate our continued commitment to worker welfare”, he said.
PwC reported that despite instances of workers paying recruitment fees in their home countries, TDIC took firm measures against violators, including the imposition of financial penalties and the obligation of those contractors to reimburse the affected workers.
As part of the monitoring programme, 21 contracts between contractors and subcontractors, and their respective recruitment agents, were examined to spot any breaches. Nevertheless, the resolution of the recruitment and relocation cost issue is beyond TDIC’s direct influence and requires collaboration between relevant entities, the report said.
Source: uae news