Qatar World Cup stadium workers struggle to secure salaries

Qatar World Cup stadium workers struggle to secure salaries

LONDON — Migrant workers building a World Cup stadium in Qatar have been struggling to secure pay they are owed, a human rights group and the Qatari government said Wednesday, highlighting ongoing labour issues in the country.

Amnesty International said around 100 workers on the Al Bayt Stadium have had problems securing months of salaries from design and construction subcontractor Qatar Meta Coats.

“Although recent payments will provide some welcome relief for workers, Qatar’s World Cup organizers told us they had known about the salary delays since July 2019,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice. “This raises the question of why Qatar allowed workers to continue working for months without pay.

“For years we have been urging Qatar to reform the system, but clearly change has not come fast enough. It shouldn’t take an Amnesty investigation for workers to be paid what they are owed.”

The workers came from countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines, according to Amnesty.

Organizers of the 2022 World Cup said the case was “unacceptable” but said it came to light last year after audits and interviews with workers by their welfare department.

“Our efforts resulted in an initial payment of three months overdue salaries to workers,” the Doha-based organizing committee said. “We continued to exert every effort within our power to redress the issue.”

The government said it was made aware of Qatar Meta Coats’ owed salaries in September 2019, leading to the company being fined and operations suspended.

“Financial insecurity between November 2019 and April 2020 meant that Qatar Meta Coats’ workforce received irregular salary payments during this period,” the government said. “In May 2020, the issue was partially resolved and all salary payments from February to May were paid in full by the company.

“There are a small number of outstanding salary payments preceding February, which will be resolved in the coming days.”

Amnesty said some workers complained in January to Qatar’s labour tribunals.

Qatar was awarded the Middle East’s first World Cup in a FIFA vote in December 2010. Pressure from rights groups on conditions for workers intensified as Qatar started to build the infrastructure it lacked to host a major international sports event.

“There are still issues to overcome, including those related to the attitudes and behaviours of a small minority,” the government said. “This will take time, but we remain firmly committed to the task.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer up to 4 active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

Sylvan Lake RCMP continue search for missing man

43-year-old Steven Hull’s last known whereabouts were in the Sylvan Lake area on May 28

Sylvan Lake high school ranked 51st in Alberta high school rankings

Ecole HJ Cody School was ranked 51st out of 253 by the Fraser Institute for 2019

Sylvan Lake Food Bank fundraiser looking for participants

Brenda Lee Cherry is looking for participants to raise money for the local food bank

PODCAST: COVID-19 and the US Election

The Expert welcomes Burman University Political Scientist Marc Froese

How Conservative leadership hopefuls would address the WE scandal if they win

The ethics commissioner has been called in to see if Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest law

With debt, deficit numbers out, experts say Liberals need plan for growth

Borrowing will push the federal debt past $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year

Pedestrian-only downtown a hit with residents as St. John’s adapts to pandemic

‘The city really got this right this time. We’re very happy’

Bosnian-Canadians mark 25th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre

‘It’s sad for a child to think that it’s normal, actually, to … have family members killed’

Traffic delayed: Vehicle rollover on Highway 2 near Ponoka sends four people to hospital

Traffic has been reduced to one lane and is expected to be delayed for several hours

PODCAST: COVID-19 and the US Election

The Expert welcomes Burman University Political Scientist Marc Froese

Most Read