Workers’ oppression and football in Qatar

This video from the USA says about itself:

Migrant Workers Dying In Shocking Numbers In Qatar

30 March 2014

“After visiting labor camps near the Qatari capital of Doha, an international federation of trade unions has issued a blistering report chronicling the labor and human rights abuses unfolding in the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Drawing on data from the Indian and Nepalese embassies, the International Trade Union Confederation estimates that 4,000 more workers could die before the World Cup gets underway in 2022 if the workforce grows as expected.

The group calls Qatar a country with only “a facade of government,” and says that impoverished migrant workers from abroad are living in squalid conditions while beholden to employers who control their identification cards and exit visas. Working in “unbelievable heat” six days a week, such migrants are now dying in “unprecedented numbers,” according to the report’s authors.”

Read more here.

By Suzanne Beishon in Britain:

Fifa forced to confront human rights abuses

Wednesday 21st October 2015

BRITAIN’S construction workers’ union welcomed the take-up of a complaint against Fifa about Qatar’s human rights violations linked to the building of World Cup 2022 infrastructure yesterday.

The Swiss National Contact Point (NCP), which is responsible for encouraging compliance with OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, has accepted the written concerns of the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and will now move to co-ordinate discussions on how football’s ruling body can clamp down on the horrific violations.

And acting general secretary Brian Rye of construction workers’ union Ucatt applauded the developments: “Ucatt welcomes this development and has played a key role in the BWI campaign to force Fifa to take responsibility and bring about the end of human rights violations linked to the building of infrastructure for the World Cup in 2022.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with those workers that have been exploited and killed and demand an end now to the kafala system that allows this to take place. Fifa must seek to force the Qatari authorities to stop the deaths now.

The plight of migrant workers in Qatar has received a lot of media attention but very little action on the ground. As the world knows Fifa have chosen to worry about the health of footballers and not the health of the workers building what will be a bloodstained World Cup.”

The BWI submitted their complaint in May and attacked Fifa for breaching OECD guidelines by awarding the 2022 competition to the Gulf state and for failing to carry out ongoing due diligence. They also hit out at the controversial kafala sponsorship system which has led to migrant workers having to pay recruitment fees, having their passports confiscated, non-payment of wages, health and safety breaches and more.

The Swiss NCP, in accepting the case after its formal initial assessment, also shot down complaints from Fifa that the OECD guidelines did not apply [to] the organisation stating that “Fifa’s involvement in the organisation of the Fifa 2022 World Cup and in particular the contractual relationship with its direct counterparties can be considered as activities of commercial nature, to which the OECD guidelines are applicable.”

FIFA has confirmed it will not allow Michel Platini to stand in the presidential election while his ban from football-related activity remains in force. The deadline for presidential nominations is on Monday and Uefa president Platini has already submitted his candidacy for the vote on February 26. The Frenchman, however, was handed a provisional 90-day suspension together with Fifa president Sepp Blatter two weeks ago: here.

WORKERS for Carillion in Qatar sleep ten to a room in lodging reminiscent of tenement slums in Victorian London and nothing has changed despite claims to the contrary, says a GMB officer who visited the labour camp this week: here.

10 thoughts on “Workers’ oppression and football in Qatar

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