Dubai: BWI visits BESIX’s accommodation for migrant workers, observes improvements
Following on their global framework agreement with BESIX, BWI and its Belgian affiliates on 4 February inspected the accommodation of migrant workers at the Belgian multinational’s construction site in Dubai.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said that they are ensuring that BESIX’s migrant workers in Dubai have decent accommodations similar to what they have accomplished for migrants who built the World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
“It is necessary that migrant workers have decent living quarters, on top of ensuring their health and safety working conditions at construction sites. We are definitely seeing improvements in BESIX. This, of course, does not mean that we will not take more steps in the future,” Yuson said.
During the inspection, BWI was pleased to see that improvements have been made by the multinational since its last visit in 2018. Notable of these are the availability of more decent rooms to workers after BESIX decided to reduce the number of workers per room from 8 to 4.
Workers also have access to different modes of communication, including access to the internet and social media networks, to contact their families. A new TV room is also available to workers during their free time, especially to workers who rarely leave their accommodations.
BWI also visited the kitchens delivering more than 6,000 daily meals to all BESIX worksites in Dubai. On its community festivals, the multinational serves country-specific traditional meals to its migrant workers comprised of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.
BWI also noted that BESIX doesn’t keep the passports of its workers unlike the practice of other employers in the Middle East who retain the passport of their employees.
BWI and BESIX signed a global framework agreement in 2017 covering around 20,000 workers worldwide. The agreement commits both parties to guarantee the rights of workers employed at BESIX’s construction sites around the world. The accord also gives BWI the possibility of carrying out regular site inspections.