France's Olympic glory tainted by fatal accident

France’s Olympic glory tainted by fatal accident

FRANCE-On a late April Saturday, a few dozen people congregated on Pont d’Austerlitz, the bridge over the Seine River, under a gentle but persistent downpour, covering themselves with umbrellas, hoods, and scarves.

What went wrong on the Olympic site?

Some carried banners and slogans demanding “Justice for Amara.” “Amara, a victim of serious employer onsite safety breaches,” read another. The Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), one of the biggest labor unions in France, organized a rally in honor of Amara Dioumassy, who was killed on June 16, 2023, while working as a supervisor on a construction project at the Bassin d’Austerlitz to improve the quality of the Seine. Dioumassy, a 51-year-old Mali father of twelve, was struck by a vehicle as his shift was coming to a conclusion. The purpose of this mobilization, according to Lyes Chouai, the union representative for CGT for Sade, the firm that hired Dioumassy, was to honor his brother, comrade, and colleague. “Serious safety concerns existed. Despite the terrible visibility, there were no traffic flow indicators, no pedestrian crossing signals, and no beeping sound made by the trucks as they backed up. The vehicles were not being directed by anyone,” he said. Following the catastrophe, Chouai went to the location. Amara was among the first individuals to come on the scene early on June 16th, according to a young man I interviewed. He added that he had purchased a bag of pastries and given them to every employee, urging them to take multiples.

How will France ensure worker safety now?

The mayor’s administration estimates that the Bassin d’Austerlitz project cost 100 million euros ($109 million). Its purpose is to retain rainwater and wastewater so that it doesn’t run directly into the Seine. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has granted permission to erect a memorial for Dioumassy next to his death site. The mayor of Paris declared that “an alley in Square Marie-Curie will bear his name.” Among the main goals of Hidalgo’s second administration has been cleaning up the Seine. The city has guaranteed that during the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the Seine will be clean enough to hold open-water swimming and triathlon competitions. 

Due to the Olympics, specific building sites, including this one, had deadlines to complete in order to improve the Seine’s swimability in time for the games and other activities. Worker pressure, stress, and deadlines were all present, according to Lyes. Labor expenditures are associated with many of the city’s large-scale undertakings for the games, such the Seine cleanup. Large construction companies that enforce labor codes to varying degrees are contracted to complete infrastructure projects. The director of SOLIDEO, a publicly-funded company created to develop the long-term infrastructure that would be left behind after the event, Nicolas Ferrand, claims that there have been at least 181 workplace accidents, including 31 major incidents, on construction projects linked to the Olympics.

Will the tragedy impact the Olympics timeline?

According to aljazeera, Although labor rights abuses and accidents are not exclusive to the Olympics, there is pressure to finish all work by the strict timeframes established for the events, which can lead to safety risks becoming overlooked. Trade unions and employer organizations signed the “social charter,” which set social, economic, and environmental goals, prior to the games on June 19, 2019, on behalf of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and its allies. The charter vowed to “fight against illegal labor, anti‑competitive practices, and discrimination, and will monitor working conditions and limit unstable employment”.

As per thenationalnews, Image With 10,500 athletes displaying their national flags and performers performing in the water, 160 boats are navigating the Seine River. As they pass the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower, more than 600,000 people cheer them on. But the reality may be more muted than the advertising videos for the Games depict. More and more security specialists and spectators are worried that the elaborate event might turn into a nightmare for security, requiring widespread observation of the crowd, the river, the sky, and the underground transportation system.

Call to action: Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024

The government of France is not taking some powerful steps towards the security of this event. Workers play an important part in the construction area of any country. Hence the public and also fans are not safe from these types of construction issues so this event should be boycotted. The beauty of this country totally depends on its architectural designs so if it will not be good then this event may be ruined.  



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