Qatar 2022: Facilities mgmt. contractor to World Cup hotels hosting FIFA & football stars reportedly abusing migrant workers; incl. co. comments
In June 2023, Josimar Football reported on conditions for workers at facilities management company USM Qatar. Workers from Uganda and Kenya told the outlet of multiple labour abuses, across recruitment, living and working conditions. Josimar documented a serious accident when workers were commuting; one worker said he did not receive compensation afterwards and was discharged from hospital early. Workers told the outlet of a range of other labour violations, including paying for their own health card, paying large recruitment fees without being reimbursed, working long hours, suffering wage deductions. Workers said when they raised problems with the company they received a warning letter and a fine; one worker believes his contracted was terminated in retaliation. Racism against African workers was also observed.
The company is the Qatar subsidiary of Lebanon-headquartered USM. It provided security, cleaning, waste management, landscaping and pest control to multiple venues, including to:
- InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa, hosting FIFA staff during the tournament;
- Marsa Malaz Kempinski at the Pearl, hosting the US football team; and,
- St. Regis, the Marriott-branded hotel hosting the Netherlands team.
A source also told Josimar the company provided staff to the hotel hosting the Ghanaian (Dusit International's D2) and Costa Rican (Hilton branded Al Sadd) teams. Europe multinationals Monoprix and IKEA are also reported as subcontracting USM Qatar.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted all five hotel brands, FIFA, the four football associations of the teams looked after by USM Qatar, IKEA and Monoprix to invite them to respond to questions regarding Josimar's findings. FIFA, Hilton, IHG Hotels, Kempinski, Marriott, Dutch Association KNVB, IKEA (via their local franchisee, Al Futtaim IKEA), Monoprix and USM Qatar provided responses; these can be read in full below. US Soccer, the associations of Costa Rica and Ghana, and hotel brand Dusit International did not respond.