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Barcelona Vice-President denies worker exploitation in Camp Nou renovation

Barcelona’s Institutional Vice-President, Elena Fort, publicly refutes allegations of worker exploitation during the renovation of Camp Nou.

A recently released documentary features interviews with various workers, with only those currently active speaking anonymously. They claim to be experiencing workplace abuse, including overwork and illegal payment practices.

Barcelona’s Fort told El Periodico as carried by Sport: “No. [It’s] As categorical as no. There are no workers who are suffering labour abuses.

“If we had had a complaint, we would have acted. Obviously. They would have made a complaint to EL PERIODICO, but no complaint has been made to the club. Neither has the Labour Standards Office opened a case. Our internal processes have not detected anything to suggest any type of irregularity.

Another complaint highlights the unsafe conditions surrounding the construction site.

Fort added: “They have had three surprise inspections by the Labour Standards Office, which is a much higher number than in any work of these characteristics in the last five months. And those inspections have determined some type of need to correct minor issues. I think they were the height of a fence, some very minor issues.”

Barcelona denies any workplace abuse in Camp Nou

Regarding the pay matter, Fort mentioned that Barcelona is investigating the issue but attributed it to negligence rather than intentional mistreatment. She also stressed that the employees have agreed to the reported excessive hours and unfavorable conditions as part of their labor conditions.

“I don’t know. There are five pay slips [in the investigation] when there are more than 2,000 during the entire execution of the work. And one thing is that there could be an error in the pay slips. We are reviewing that. But all contracts go through Social Security. Not a single contract that has been made is below the agreed terms. In construction contracts, by agreement, work is done six days a week, maximum 12 hours.”

One worker described a particularly challenging situation, where he resorted to sleeping outside the stadium to ensure punctuality after facing reprimands for late arrival due to limited transportation options. Fort expressed the belief that this is an isolated case and not the sole solution to the issue.

Fort added: “That’s a bitter thing for all of us. But we are talking about the fact that more than 2,000 workers have worked here, that there is a schedule. From what I read, because we don’t know him, he came from Manresa. If the train arrives half an hour late, there is still an earlier bus. I don’t know. Obviously it is a circumstance. We don’t have 2,000 workers sleeping on the streets, which means things are working.”

Russell Murray
Russell Murray
Russell Murray is a passionate football journalist whose heart beats to the rhythm of the beautiful game. With an insatiable appetite for all things football, Russell is always seeking to capture the essence of the sport. Also, he strongly believes that Guti and Diego Milito never received the recognition they deserved for their contributions to football.
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