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30 Sep 2022

Qatar 2022: Construction workers reportedly terminated early, sent home burdened with debt before tournament; InfraRoad & UrbaCon did not respond

Towards the end of 2021, reports emerged of a government circular ordering construction companies to reduce their workforces in preparation for the World Cup, as well as completing construction works to a deadline. NGOs raised concerns at the time that workers sent home may lose employment & wages.

In September 2022 the Guardian reported construction workers at two companies owned by UCC Holding – InfraRoad and UrbaCon Trading & Contracting – had been terminated early, severely impacting their livelihoods and ability to support their families. Workers were burdened with loans taken out to afford recruitment fees of over GBP1,000. Workers were also reportedly hired on short-term project visas, despite being promised two-year contracts.

UCC Holding did not respond to the Guardian's request for comment. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited InfraRoad and UrbaCon to respond to the allegations; neither responded. FIFA previously provided a response to similar reports of Nepali construction workers sent home at the beginning of the month; it can be read in full here.

Company Responses

InfraRoad Trading & Contracting

No Response

UrbaCon Trading & Contracting

No Response