Mauricio - Construction sites still off limits to unions

The CMWEU, BWI’s affiliate in Mauritius, has sent a protest letter to the minister of labour regarding the death of a Chinese worker who was crushed when he fell from scaffolding tubes. The tragedy occurred on the afternoon of 13 June at the Côte-d’Or Sports Complex, one of the sports facilities that is being built for the 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games that will take place 19-28 July 2019.

This is not the first fatal work accident on this particular site. Last 12 September another Chinese national also tragically lost his life.

The protest letter called on the government of Mauritius and the contractor, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, to take necessary measures to ensure international safety and health standards are in place to prevent future accidents resulting in injuries and fatal deaths. More importantly, the CMWEU is asking for access to the construction sites to conduct safety audits to save workers’ lives.

“In Mauritius, trade unions do not have access to any worksite without the permission of the contractors. Migrant workers are more marginalised, as they do not benefit from support by the enforcement authority due to language barriers. They cannot file any complaint and are not even allowed to meet local workers,” stated Reeaz Chuttoo, general secretary of CMWEU.

Crecentia Mofokeng, BWI regional representative for Africa and the Middle East, who participated at the BWI World Board and World Council meetings in Brighton, United Kingdom, where the BWI global sports campaign was discussed, stated: “Already one worker died at this particular site. Now we have another tragic death. This is unacceptable. The BWI will work with the CFMEU to push for an independent investigation and put safety measures [in place] to ensure that workers are not killed in the name of sports.” 

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