After a concerning report on the labour conditions at the Camp Nou renovation works, a seconed outlet has confirmed that some of the subcontractors have allegedly been altering the contracts of workers in order to pass regulator inspections. A number of complaints have been made about workers being underpaid.
The initial El Periodico report claimed that workers were not only in unsafe conditions, but were not being paid for their overtime. Sport now say they have seen evidence that some of the subcontractors have been altering contracts in order to avoid trouble during inspections from the Department of Work. According to their information at least three companies are involved.
Limak are the Turkish firm in charge of the project, and have frequently faced backlash and protests in the past regarding working conditions. Barcelona’s Institutional Vice-President Elena Fort has said they have no knowledge of any malpractice, but would look into the matter. After a workers’ union (CCOO) canvassed outside Camp Nou, Limak’s Human Resources department asked to arrange a meeting with the CCOO but it is not clear whether this took place. They declined to comment on the current expose.
The first instance is one subcontractor who surprised Asane and Ibrahim, amongst others, by adding an extra €600 to their pay slips. Originally they were being paid €1,200 per month, close to the minimum (€1,093) for a 40-hour working week, despite often doing 56 hours per week. That extra €600 would have covered the extra hours, but they continue to receive just €1,200 in their accounts.
Under another business, several workers received a one-off payment of €600 at the end of November, before returning to their usual €1,200 salary, despite 10-hour working days. This would still leave them short of what they are owed. There was no explanation, nor did the payment appear on their payslip, nor did it pass through the books for social security. Others have seen a slight increase in salary, but one that doesn’t even bring them up to the standard for a 40-hour working week, let alone what they have not been paid for extra hours. Sources from the same subcontractor do say that their superiors no longer shout at them, and they treat the workers well, since their treatment was made public.
A third subcontractor has also increased salaries from €1,150 per week to over €1,300, but again this does not meet the minimum for a 10-hour working day.
In addition to the covering up of salaries, various subcontractors have been found dismissing their workforce over the Christmas period in order to avoid holiday pay or redundancy packages. Telling workers that ‘don’t come tomorrow, we’ll call you’, the subcontractors are able to dismiss them and re-hire the workers when work begins again, in a manner that is not traceable or formalised online or on paper. The upshot is that the business is within their right to sack them for non-attendance.