GMB says 4,000 workers will die in Qatar before World Cup starts

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GMB seeks a meeting with 13 major UK contractors working in Qatar to stop exploitation of workers building for 2022 World Cup.

Workers paid £5 for a 15 hours day in ferocious heat with injuries and fatalities so bad that 4,000 workers will be killed before a ball is kicked in 9 year time in unless action is taken says GMB.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, has written to the Chief Executives of 13 UK based contractors with contracts in Qatar to build stadiums and other infrastructure leading up to the World Cup in 2022 seeking a meeting over the exploitation of migrant workers in the Gulf State. See copy of letter in notes to editors.

A meeting has been requested with the following contractors: Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Laing O’Rourke, Interserve, Kier Group, Vinci, Galliford Try (Qatar), ISG Middle East, Amey, Mace, Bouygues UK, BAM and Costain.

Bert Schouwenburg says in his letter “In the world’s richest country per head of population, migrants are paid as little as £5 per day for 15 hours of work in ferocious heat. On-site injuries and fatalities are commonplace and it has been estimated that, at the current level of accidents, some 4,000 workers will die before a ball is kicked in 9 years’ time.

GMB is an affiliate of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and is right behind their campaign to prevent the World Cup taking place in Qatar unless there is a dramatic improvement in workers’ rights.

We believe that UK companies have a particular responsibility to ensure that their Qatar-based employees, regardless of their nationality, and their sub-contractors’ employees enjoy terms and conditions within globally accepted standards of “decent work” as laid down by organisations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Consequently, I would suggest that we organise a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss a way forward.

The ITUC are contemplating a visit to Qatar in early December. GMB plan to be part of that. This may provide us with a suitable opportunity but any alternative suggestions from your side would be welcome too.”

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