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JustHere | November 16, 2017

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ITUC holds demonstration in Sheraton park; Demands rerun of Qatar 2022 vote

ITUC holds demonstration in Sheraton park; Demands rerun of Qatar 2022 vote

Seven members of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) held a demonstration at Sheraton Park this afternoon, calling for the re-run of the 2022 World Cup bid. A minute of silence was also observed for the number of construction workers who lost their lives while at work.

The demonstration was held to mark the third anniversary of Qatar (December 2) winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

“One worker dies per day (in Qatar),” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC while addressing the media. “There are 1.3 million workers in the country and more are expected to come. The Government has to take an action on granting workers fundamental rights, fair wages and freedom to go home.”

Speaking to JustHere, Burrow said, “You can’t run a major global event off the slavery of labourers who have constructed the infrastructure. The head of FIFA Sepp Blatter has said the country needs to have labour rights. So if they implement labour rights, the Cup can be run; if no labour rights, there can be no World Cup.”

FIFA has given a deadline of March next year for the government to report about the steps taken in this matter. “In March we will access government progress and we will be back in the country to continue to talk to the workers and try and help them get out of this country.

“We have offered to work with the government repeatedly but they have to make the decision of implementing the labour rights and ending the system of slavery, the kafala system.”

One of the major issue according to Burrow is “the growing tendency towards simply treating workers as ‘disposable’ – not paying them wages and giving them a hand-out when they are in desperate need of money.”

And this is not limited to low-income workers. Even professional workers are trapped in the country because the government suddenly decided they are simply disposable, she says.

Qatar has been under great pressure to improve its treatment of low-income migrant workers and to reform the kafala system that governs all expatriate workers in the country.

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