World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Qatar: World Cup worker welfare standards not delivered

Qatar World Cup Workers’ Standards: no legal enforcement, no worker rights

Brussels, 11 February 2014 (ITUC OnLine): Qatar’s new World Cup worker welfare standards do not deliver fundamental rights for workers and merely reinforce the discredited kafala system of employer control over workers, warned the International Trade Union Confederation.

“Forced labour continues in Qatar today with no workers’ rights. No migrant worker can be protected by any safety standard unless they have the right to collectively speak out about wages and conditions at work,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC.

The kafala visa sponsorship system ties workers to their employers, as they cannot leave the country or move to another employer without permission. Qatari law denies migrant workers the right to form or join trade unions.

“Not a single change has been made or recommended to Qatar’s laws that deny workers their fundamental rights. No workplace voice or representative is allowed for migrant workers in Qatar. A worker welfare officer appointed by the employer is no substitute for a duly nominated worker representative.

“The promise to provide freedom of movement for workers is a sham, as Qatar enforces segregation of workers on a racial basis.

“These standards are built on an old, discredited self-monitoring system which has failed in the past in Bangladesh and other countries where thousands of workers have died.

“With no legal compliance mechanism such as a tribunal, there is no possibility of enforcing even these provisions,” said Sharan Burrow.

The Supreme Committee Welfare Charter:

• Foresees the use of illiterate workers who can use a thumb print to sign documents;

• Provides one social worker for 3500 employees, who is able to spend at most 41 seconds per week dealing with each worker;

• Sets up a telephone hot line for worker complaints with no detail of who will answer the phones, or the process as to how grievances will be handled. The existing hotline has been a complete failure;

• Would mean labour camps with a total area of 8 million square meters are needed for the 500,000 extra workers that Qatar says will be required to build the World Cup;

• Fails to set up a system to record deaths of workers or to ensure autopsies;

• Recommends recruitment agencies approved by the Ministry of Labour, who routinely charge fees despite laws that prohibit these practices;

• Has no reference to ‘heat’ in regard to working conditions in a country where workers toil in up to 50 degrees for half the year;

• Indicates no intention to prosecute contractors for breaches; instead workers are simply sent home to their country;

• Only applies to a limited number of workers in Qatar.

“If FIFA are serious about Qatar continuing to host the World Cup in 2022, they will demand freedom of association such that workers can be represented by those they choose.

“They will demand immediate steps to end kafala, immediate steps to give workers the rights to negotiate wages and conditions and set up effective legal compliance through a tribunal system for complaints,” said Sharan Burrow.

“This charter is a sham for workers. It promises health and safety but provides no credible enforcement. It promises employment standards but gives migrant workers no rights to collectively bargain or join a trade union. It promises equality but does not provide a guarantee of a minimum wage.

“Unlawful practices will only continue with these provisions, which reinforce a system of forced labour with kafala. Qatar’s announcement is reaction to public pressure, but it won’t take the pressure off workers.

“Similar provisions announced by the Qatar Foundation nearly a year ago have made no difference. The death toll of workers in Qatar has increased. Qatar has to change its laws, nothing else will do,” said Sharan Burrow.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Cyclone Pam Drives Up Contraceptive Demand In Vanuatu

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 31, 2015) - Katherine Silas grimaces but one is not entirely sure if it is in response to pain or merely the sight of the needle being used to implant the long-term contraceptive, jadelle, a week after Cyclone ... More>>

Palestine: Border Police Extremely Close When They Shot The US Activist

New testimony at final hearing in Tristan Anderson's trial indicates Border Police were extremely close when they shot the US activist in the head More>>

Palestine: Ni’lin Demonstrators Met With Violence

International Solidarity Movement On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Envoy Says Yemen On 'Rapid Downward Spiral'

Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition. More>>


Continued International Support As Vanuatu Recovers

Damage seen on Saturday 14 March 2015 in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam moved through the Archipelago. Photo: UNICEF Pacific More>>

UNICEF Rushes Emergency Supplies For Cyclone-Affected Tuvalu

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today. More>>

Guinea Reports Highest Weekly Ebola Case Total This Year

Guinea reports highest weekly Ebola case total so far this year, new UN data shows More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news