(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has yesterday published the second annual SC Workers' Welfare Progress Report. Covering the period from January 2016 to February 2017, the report highlights areas in which the SC has made progress with regards to workers' welfare, discusses the challenges faced and how these are being overcome, and sets out the key upcoming priorities for the SC's dedicated Workers' Welfare Division (WWD).
'Workers' welfare is of critical importance to the work of the SC, said Secretary-General H E Hassan Al Thawadi. 'It has the potential to create a transformative and truly global social legacy for the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East.
'Today, we have around 13,000 workers on eight construction sites, with a total of 53 million man-hours worked, added Al Thawadi. 'This has inevitably led to an expanded role for our Workers' Welfare Division, which has widened its focus from improving accommodation standards to covering areas of site welfare, ethical recruitment, and stakeholder engagement and workers' outreach. This expanded scope was delivered while the team carried out 2,200 hours auditing ethical recruitment issues, 1,400 hours inspecting accommodations and over 1,000 hours inspecting construction sites, blacklisting three contractors and demobilising nine over workers' welfare abuses.
The latest Progress Report discusses a number of milestones the WWD reached during the period covered, including: Appointment of Verité for advisory services and ethical recruitment audit training; Appointment of Impactt Ltd as independent third-party monitor; MoU signing between SC & Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI) trade union, and the launch of joint Health & Safety inspections; Launch of a dedicated Workers' Grievance Hotline; Launch of an enhanced WWD IT Audit Platform; Publication of the Second Edition of the Workers' Welfare Standards (WWS) and expanded the team to cater to the growing demands, including additional resources to augment the Compliance & Audit Team.
The report also discusses a number of initiatives the WWD is progressing, such as the cooling technology deployed to workers during the summer months, a grievance hotline to anonymously raise issues faced by workers and a partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine designed to monitor workers' nutritional intake and identify prevalent health issues, such as hypertension and diabetes.
A number of instances in which the WWS are having an impact beyond direct SC projects are also highlighted, including Tanareefa Trading & Contracting, for example, which continued to facilitate SC and Impactt Ltd inspections despite demobilisation in December 2016 following completion of their scope of work.