Workers go about their jobs on in Le Bourget, outside Paris, at the construction site of the building which will host the Climate Change Conference 2015. Photo: AFP
The Paris COP 21 climate summit, which runs from November 30th to December 11th, seemed like a golden opportunity for work in the département of Seine-Saint-Denis, just outside of Paris.
Indeed, there are around 3,000 people hired to be working on the meet, and the organizers noted that “people living in the region will get priority treatment when it comes to any employment generated by the event”.
But revelations emerged on Thursday that at least 200 workers had been subcontracted from eastern Europe to help out.
While there is nothing illegal about hiring workers from around Europe instead of those in France, they must be paid at least at the minimum wage, which wasn't the case at the COP 21.
A Slovakian worker said for a 12-hour shift he had only been paid €70 ($76), reported the France TV Info channel.
The man had been hired by GL Events, which came under fire in the past for hiring a dozen Romanians to work a university in La Rochelle.
A spokesperson from the company confirmed that six workers were indeed from Slovenia, but added that the GL Events had hired local workers too.
Guests at the summit — the biggest international meet in France since the Universal Declaration of Human rights was drawn up in 1948 — will include US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping among more than 80 world leaders.