Qatar 2022 Committee denies allegations in ITUC report, highlights “factual errors”
A recent report by ITUC highlights Qatar’s poor response to the public criticism of its worker rights and labour laws. However, the country’s 2022 Supreme Committee has denied such allegations, saying that a set of principles and standards for worker welfare that was released in February, was being incorporated into all of its contracts for workers.
Some of these welfare standards include:
- working hours shall not exceed eight hours per day and 48 hours per week;
- overtime is allowed as long as the worker is compensated their basic wage plus 25% for every extra hour worked;
- workers are prohibited from working over 60 hours per week;
- comfortable living quarters;
- space for recreation and high standards of cleanliness and hygiene;
- free meals;
- recreation areas;
- medical facilities;
- free laundry services;
- indoor and outdoor recreation;
- Internet connections and strict health and safety measures on site.
- a telephone line that allows workers to express their grievances confidentially in their own language to a welfare officer, who is a permanent, full-time employee of the contractor.
While these standards could be seen as a positive start, human rights organisations have criticised the charter for catering to only those workers directly involved in the construction of stadiums and training grounds.
The ITUC report titled ‘The Case Against Qatar’ also presents case studies on the rampant malpractices carried out by employers in Qatar. These include: wage discrimination, deportation, kafala system, fraudulent contracts and passport confiscation.
In its report, ITUC has predicted “4000 workers could die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup”. According to figures on worker fatalities, 1200 workers have died since the World Cup was awarded in 2010.
To this, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement “No one has died on World Cup projects.”
Further responding to the allegations on squalid accommodation provided to workers, the statement read: “Our 108 construction workers live in a refurbished accommodation on Street No 23 in Doha’s Industrial Area. The International Trade Union Confederation never visited our accommodation, nor requested to do so.”