January 20, (THEWILL) – Undocumented migrant workers have come forward to reveal they have been underpaid by subcontractors working on infrastructure projects for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The public company responsible for building Olympic facilities, Solideo, subcontracts its work to other companies, which are then inspected. In June, nine undocumented workers were identified on a site run by Solideo. The company quickly terminated the contract of the subcontractor and the affiliated construction company at fault.
Solideo Strategy Director, Antoine du Souich, stated that the company “took the necessary steps” to rectify the situation. However, Paris 2024 Social Charter Monitoring Committee co-chair and trade unionist, Bernard Thibault, criticised the “great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the political authorities”, over the use of migrant workers, calling for better rights for them and more regulation of construction companies.
Mali national, Gaye Sarambounou, was one of the workers, who was removed from an Olympic building site. He had been working for three months on construction projects for €80 (£70/$87) a day, for between eight and 11 hours a day, without getting paid overtime. Under French minimum wage laws, Sarambounou should have been paid €90.16 (£79/$98) a day for eight hours of work. Sarambounou stated, “If you don’t have papers, you do all the hard work, all the crappy jobs. You have no choice.”
The CGT union has stated that they are preparing an application for Sarambounou to receive his working papers. Solideo claims that its procedures have improved since this incident occurred.