Gaye Sarambounou is used to toiling lengthy days for a pittance. He is a Malian residing in France with no working papers, but it surely’s a scenario that happens all over the world.
The distinction right here is that Sarambounou is certainly one of a military of development employees making ready subsequent 12 months’s Olympic Video games in Paris.
The truth that France’s upcoming sporting showcase is being put along with the assistance of unlawful employees is changing into a supply of political and social pressure.
For 3 months Sarambounou, 41, labored between eight- and 11-hour shifts for 80 euros per day.
Clearly, “time beyond regulation was by no means paid,” he mentioned ruefully.
“I accepted as a result of I do know my scenario. If you do not have papers, you do all of the laborious work, all of the crappy jobs. You haven’t any alternative,” he mentioned as he boiled water on a range on the ground of the tiny room he shares with 4 compatriots.
“Everybody is aware of what is going on on, however no one talks about it”, mentioned a smiling Sarambounou, who was kicked off an Olympic constructing website final 12 months after a raid by labor inspectors.
Commerce unionist Bernard Thibault, who co-chairs the Paris 2024 Social Constitution Monitoring Committee says there may be “a substantial amount of hypocrisy on the a part of the political authorities”.
As an indication of concern, the Labour Inspectorate has created a specialised unit that has been checking almost one website a day for the previous two years.
In June, 9 irregular employees have been recognized on a website run by Solideo, the general public firm chargeable for constructing services and infrastructure for the Olympics.
On the identical time, an area public prosecutor’s workplace opened a preliminary investigation into the “employment of foreigners with out a allow in an organized gang”.
Solideo swiftly “took the required steps” by terminating the contract of the offending subcontractor but additionally of the development big that used it, mentioned Antoine du Souich, the corporate’s technique director.
Since then procedures have been tightened up, he assured, whereas admitting it is not possible to arrange a system “totally impervious” to such fraud.
“All these stunning stadiums are constructed by poor folks… who’re exploited,” mentioned one other Malian employee, who requested anonymity.
“It is all the time 80 % immigrants who do the work. You see Malians, Portuguese, Turks. And the French… within the workplaces!” he added.
The Malian employees need nothing greater than to be regularised, so they do not must reside in worry of an id verify.
The left-wing CGT union is making ready to submit an utility for Sarambounou to obtain his working papers.
If he will get these inside 18 months, the current hardships will look like nothing greater than a foul dream, he says.
“I will be authorized for the Video games!”
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