Qatar 2022 in the firing line again
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has urged FIFA to rerun the vote for 2022 World Cup.
ITUC stresses that FIFA has to make workers’ rights a criteria for any future bid.
In a release, ITUC says the move to write to FIFA comes after ‘a series of broken promises and no sign of any change from FIFA or the Qatari Government to address the fact that hundreds of workers are dying and thousands more are injured in Qatar.’
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow says: “This is not a move we take lightly. The 2022 World Cup was awarded years ahead of schedule, if a new venue is selected in the next two years there is still time for the infrastructure to be in place in time for the games. FIFA must act now- the longer the delay, the more workers will suffer and die.
“FIFA and Qatar have spoken frequently about need for reform, but the record is rife with broken promises. The Qataris have pledged to ensure that international labour standards are met, while construction workers die at a rate eight times that of other rich countries.”
The release also states that a leaked copy of a ‘Workers Charter’ written by the ‘local organizing committee’ for the games shows contradictions with Qatari law and ‘fails to give workers any real rights or protection from slavery conditions’.
The ITUC / Equal Times campaign www.rerunthevote.org is asking union members and football fans to pressure FIFA to change the venue for the 2022World Cup unless workers’ rights are respected.
ITUC says “Qatar could maintain its candidacy for the 2022 event, but should only win confirmation of its bid if it truly meets global labour standards and stops treating the people building the World Cup facilities as slaves.”
Agencies like Human Rights Watch have also been very critical of Qatar’s attitude towards workers’ right.
The first time the local media gave any serious coverage to the issue was when HRW released its first report last year.
Though many promises have been made by officials to reconsider the kafala system, there’s been little movement in that direction.
Will this renewed pressure on Qatar, bring about a change to it’s labour laws?
(Pic courtesy: fifa.com)