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Interserve vows to 'thoroughly' study Qatar abuse

Interserve, which owns 49% stake in Qatar's Gulf Contracting Company, has responded to CW's queries regarding allegations of labour rights' abuse against BK Gulf

Intersec has vowed to investigate labour abuse claims against BK Gulf in Qatar.
Intersec has vowed to investigate labour abuse claims against BK Gulf in Qatar.

UK-headquartered construction company, Interserve, has responded to claims that one of its subsidiaries abused labour rights in Qatar. 

Interserve holds 49% stake in Qatar's Gulf Contracting Company (GCC), which is part-owner of BK Gulf, a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractor. 

It was reported by UK daily the Guardian that BK Gulf's migrant workers in Qatar "allege that they have been exploited and mistreated by labour supply companies hired by the firms to furnish construction sites in Doha with cheap manual workers".

Responding to Construction Week's queries regarding these claims, Interserve said it is "thoroughly" investigating the matter. 

"We are fully committed to supporting and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our employees and those working as part of our supply chain," an Interserve spokesperson said.

"We take these allegations extremely seriously and will investigate them thoroughly."

According to UK daily the Guardian, these alleged abuses include "erratic or reduced payment of wages, passport confiscation, workers entering employment with high levels of debt bondage, and pay levels below those agreed when workers were recruited in their home countries".

Construction Week requested Interserve for specifics of the matter, such as which projects the complainant labourers were employed on, and Interserve's current relationship with the labour supply companies cited by the workers in the UK daily's report. 

While these queries were not responded to, Interserve added: "If corrective measures are required, we will ensure they are implemented immediately."

BK Gulf and Gulf Contracting Company are yet to respond to Construction Week's queries regarding the matter. 

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019