Working conditions for Bosnian workers resolved

After having unveiled serious breaches in the labor contracts for a number of Bosnian workers employed by a contractor, Statnett is now satisfied that a solution has been found. Canadian contractor Valard Construction has commited to repaying workers all wages they have paid to their Bosnian employer UMEL, and have promised further long-term employment contracts with Valard Construction. They will receive legal aid to dissolve from the contract with UMEL, and Valard will also terminate their contract with the Bosnian company.

- We are very pleased that there is a good solution to this challenging situation, and that Valard Construction assumes their responsibility and ensures that the unfair contracts are terminated, payments are fully reimbursed and the Bosnian workers are promised long-term contracts with Valard Construction. This was a necessary and good result, Executive Vice President Elisabeth Vike Vardheim in Statnett said.

 

Valard Construction has now documented a follow-up of the matter that Statnett think will provide a good solution. Valard Construction is committed to resolving the Bosnian workers from the unfair contract with UMEL in their home country, and promising them long term employment contracts in Valard. In addition, they will reimburse all that workers have paid to UMEL as a result of the contract, also taking into account taxation. Valard Construction will also terminate its contract with UMEL and provide necessary legal assistance to the workers so that they can be safely redeemed from the contract with the employer in Bosnia Herzegovina.

 

-This is a good result. We will follow up Valard carefully in the future, not least to prove that the agreement currently reached is being implemented. We are very pleased that we have established and confirmed that such contracts are not acceptable in our projects, and especially that this has been done while still taking care of the workers and their families well-being,  Vardheim emphasized.

 

Statnett's has strict requirements on wages and working conditions and have a detailed ethical framework related to contracts with suppliers and contractors. Nevertheless, Statnett will now consider the possibility of ensuring even better control of the pay and working conditions for employees of their suppliers, especially when the company hires workers from other companies.

 

-This case has shown that our regulatory and control system works, but also that the challenges are great in this field. We will therefore look at how we can improve and streamline the ongoing control and follow-up activities in the projects so that non-conformities can be prevented and possibly revealed at an early stage. We will have a close dialogue with the unions in this work, Vardheim underlined.

 

For further information, please contact VP Corporate Communications Henrik Glette at +47 932 33 010

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