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11 Apr 2022

Michael Sainato, The Guardian

Largest US union federation presses FIFA on labour rights around 2026 World Cup

"Largest US union federation presses Fifa on labor rights around 2026 World Cup," 8 Apr. 2022

... [T]he AFL-CIO, a federation of 57 labor unions in the US, and several other labor and human rights groups wrote a letter to Fifa demanding minimum labor standards for planning and execution of the 2026 World Cup, and that Fifa meet with the groups to address commitments Fifa should make to meet human rights guarantees.

... “Without such guarantees, Fifa essentially stands to profit from low wages, unsafe working conditions, racial discrimination in hiring and promotion, gentrification, and other forms of skewed development that make low-income communities dread the arrival of a mega-sporting event,” the letter wrote.

... The AFL-CIO-led coalition characterized the response as offering the bare minimum and avoiding the coalition’s demands in regards to ensuring high level Fifa officials with the authority to implement labor and human rights standards attend and the issues to be discussed.

... A spokesperson for Fifa said ... “Fifa remains steadfast in its commitment to protect and promote human rights across football, and to use the popularity of the sport to help foster still wider positive social change around the world.

“We are confident that the selection process and the city plans will provide a robust foundation for the collaboration between the host city teams and relevant rights-holder groups in the preparation and hosting of the World Cup in 2026.

“Fifa has been in contact with AFL-CIO during the process and the independent evaluators of the candidate host city reports take into account the written feedback shared by AFL-CIO and others. Furthermore, Fifa is in touch with AFL-CIO and other national level stakeholders to schedule further exchanges in the coming weeks.”