Labourers at Royal Palace caught without papers

23rd June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Three construction workers have been doing repair works at the Brussels Royal Palace without the right papers.

23 June 2008

BELGIUM - According to the Flemish daily De Standaard, three moonlighters have been caught at a building site at the Brussels Royal Palace. Two Polish and one French worker were caught red-handed while doing repair works on the royal roof.

The labour inspection team called at the palace on Friday to check whether the safety regulations were observed. As it turned out, three of the six labourers could not produce the right papers.

It is believed that the palace construction site was neatly divided into a Flemish and a Walloon part to avoid bickering between the Flemish and Francophone.

The Flemish building site employed three Polish workers. One of them, the site’s foreman, was registered with the labour inspection but his two colleagues were not. The Walloon construction team consisted of two Belgians and a Frenchman. The latter could not be traced in the labour inspection database either.

No official report yet
When in Brussels, King Albert II divides his time over his two palaces in the capital. The castle in Laken, which is situated on the royal grounds near the Japanese Tower and the Atomium, functions as the family’s private home.

The other palace, overlooking the Brussels Warandepark and housing the royal administration is used for official venues and is owned by the Belgian state. Any repairs on that building are therefore the responsibility of the Federal Building Agency.

In a statement, the Palace’s press secretary, Pierre-Emmanuel De Bauw, acknowledges that the construction site was visited by the labour inspection but says the Palace hasn’t received an official report on that visit yet.

The labour inspection has urged the Federal Building Agency to take better care of the people their contractors employ in future.

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