The migrant workers who built offices used by organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar say they have not been paid for up to 13 months of work, reports The Guardian.
International attention has fallen on the working conditions for migrant laborers in Qatar. An investigation by The Guardian last September revealed the exploitation of workers, who mostly come from Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. Last November, the human rights group Amnesty International also raised questions about labor conditions, including over "non-payment of wages." ESPN did an investigation in May into the deaths of migrant workers. The same month, the Qatari government admitted to almost 1,000 fatalities among migrant workers in the build up to the World Cup.
The offices mentioned in the latest report from The Guardian were part of a project commissioned by the country's government. The workers said they have not been paid in more than a year and now live seven per room in cockroach-infested housing.
"I earned no money," said a 35-year-old Nepalese worker and father-of-three who said he had lost a year's salary on the project. "If I had money to buy a ticket I would go home."
..."We don't know how much they are spending on the World Cup but we just need our salary," one worker said after losing a year's pay on the project. "We were working but not getting the salary. The government, the company: just provide the money."
The organizing committee for the Qatar World Cup confirmed that the temporary offices were being used and said it was "heavily dismayed" to hear that the contractor had not paid the workers. The country had said it was focused on improving conditions for laborers.
The construction of five new stadiums in Qatar is set to begin this year, and the Guardian reports that several hundred thousand extra migrant workers are expected to travel to the country to build the facilities.
- Molly Geary