Sunday, 21 June 2015

World Cup sponsors must pressurise FIFA to act on Qatar abuses

The eight big sponsors Adidas, Gazprom, Hyundai, Kia, McDonalds, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Visa are amongst the companies we should all write too and ensure we assert our pressure on FIFA.

In Qatar 4,000 workers are estimated to die by 2022 – an absolutely shocking fact.
This is just an estimate as there will probably be a lot more as only Nepal and India record the number of deaths.

Corruption and heat seem to be the focus for this World Cup – yet we see thousands of people die with little coverage from the media as many endure the horrendous treatment as their rights are violated.

In Qatar the Kafala system exists where workers seek sponsorship to work however this all to often means passports are retained by employers, contracts torn up, the need for employers to sign exit visas and a block on workers so they can’t change jobs even when abuse is taking place.

Treatment of migrant workers is not only in the building industry but also in infrastructure, domestic workers and the service industry.

Women suffer greatly, those in detention centres are enduring appalling conditions and mistreatment. Those in employment, especially in private homes doing domestic work are open to terrible conditions including psychological, physical and sexual abuse.

The ITUC say that there is forced labour being used by contractors providing services to university campuses in Doha city. More UK universities are opening in the Gulf States, so the issues for us as workers are our potential members if they worked in UK.

Fellow workers are abused and dying – with appalling working conditions and human rights violations. Workers need to know their rights.

Qatar must abolish Kafala, and allow migrant workers to join trade unions

UNISON has just supported Anti Slavery International through UNISON International Development Fund to work with partners in India to give pre-departure advice to migrant workers hoping to travel to Qatar and other Middle East countries.

We all know about the FIFA corruption scandal but must ensure the spotlight is not only on who bribed who – lives are more important than money so we need to hear our own footballing bodies to speak out in support of workers’ rights – that are far too silent.

Please support the Playfair Qatar campaign and write to the sponsors expressing your concerns.

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