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26 Nov 2018

David Conn, The Guardian (UK)

The Guardian: World Cup construction workers in Qatar struggle with low pay

See all tags Allegations

"Qatar 2022: £40 a week to build the World Cup stadiums", 21 November 2018

... The supreme committee has pledged high standards for workers’ rights and welfare after torrential criticism of conditions by human rights organisations and the media, and they showed us some of their workings... an accident frequency rate of 0.005% and... 7,000 people had been trained for working at height and about the measures they use for mandatory breaks when the heat becomes impossible; the canteens of water containing electrolytes carried by all the workers; the safety signs in English, Hindi and Tamil; the confidential grievance hotline... For building one of the prestige stadiums designed so Qatar can dazzle the world in 2022, eight hours a day, six days a week, this is £140: a little under £35 per week; £5 per day... This tournament is, inescapably, a World Cup of inequality, hosted by the per capita wealthiest country, built by men from the poorest... The government has committed itself to introducing a minimum wage... a temporary figure has been agreed. But it is only 750 rials a month – £160, a little under £40 a week. The supreme committee said its contractors... were instructed in September to pay the advisory minimum wage of 750 per month to all employees. They said they investigated the pay of the Ghanaian men and did find one of them being paid 650. “This has now been rectified,” a spokesman said. The senior figures we talked to seemed to struggle to see injustice in the painfully low pay, saying it was much more than people would earn in their home countries...