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Qatar: Amnesty Intl. finds 100 workers subject to labour exploitation on World Cup stadium; incl. co. comments

Construction workers on Qatar World Cup 2022 Al Bayt stadium have been subject to wage delays of up to 7 months and other exploitative practices, an Amnesty International report reveals.

Approximately 100 workers employed by Qatar Meta Coats (QMC) haven't received full salaries since early 2019. This is despite registering complaints with labour authorities, mediation with QMC, and an investigation by the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, who learned of the delays in July 2019 through audits. Workers’ residence permits expired, they were prevented from finding other jobs and had paid large recruitment fees. QMC and GSIC-JV (Al Bayt’s main contractor) stated they do not charge recruitment fees. The Supreme Committee Worker Welfare Standards prohibit recruitment fees.

GSIC-JV issued multiple warnings to QMC to pay its workers. Together with Aspire Zone Foundation (the organization responsible for delivering the stadium) they jointly pressured QMC, but the company continued not to pay. Supreme Committee pressure did lead to the company paying salaries for July and August. The Supreme Committee blacklisted and reported QMC to the labour authority. QMC was “demobilized" from the stadium in February 2020.

In January 2020 workers took legal action. When workers refused an offer of settlement only if they returned home, they were allegedly stopped from working. QMC denied workers had been discouraged to report grievances.

Workers began to receive some money only after Amnesty approached the Qatari authorities, FIFA and the Supreme Committee in June 2020. FIFA stated it was previously unaware of the findings, raising concern that FIFA's human rights due diligence systems are inadequate. FIFA pledged to review its processes with World Cup partners and to strengthen its own mechanisms. The Supreme Committee stated that they will continue to pursue the case with the labour authorities.

Statements from Qatar Meta Coats, FIFA, the Supreme Committee, GSIC-JV and Aspire Zone can be found in full below.

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