The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Saturday, 19 October

Bread and Qatar - Beeb Looks at Dodgy Dealings

A BBC investigation has exposed 'suspect' dealings in Qatar and its 2022 World Cup development that suggests some officials are making lots of 'bread' in bribery payments whilst the workers are left to shout Doh!

 

As if matters could not get any worse for the 2022 World Cup in the Middle East state of Qatar, a BBC investigation has uncovered what it argues is widespread bribery in its £200 billion project.

The respected journalist, Sue Lloyd-Roberts, has reported that her team ‘have uncovered worrying testimony about pay, housing conditions and safety standards from foreign workers. They include some employed by subcontractors working for one of Britain's biggest construction firms, Carillion, based in Wolverhampton.’

Well over 1,000 migrant workers have been killed in work building or upgrading eight stadiums. The International Trade Union Confederation, has been recording the number of workers' deaths, and believes that figure could rise to 4,000 by the time the football competition begins in 2022.

The BBC report looked at the working and living conditions of some of them by covert filming and interviews. The workers stated that they had to travel over an hour from where they were living in camps that were cramped and unsanitary. They worked in the capital, Doha, for about 12 hours a day, often with little in the way of safety equipment, or proper treatment for injuries. Many reported there had been delays in payment which their families at home depended upon.

In response, Carillion issued a statement saying that ‘health and safety is at the very heart of our business, and practice on site follows standards that we apply in the UK’ which may concern those working in this country if the case. It went on to insist that subcontractors ‘must abide by Qatari labour law in respect of wages, living conditions and employment rights….and we expect them to comply with Qatari law which prevents employers withholding workers' passports’.

However, much of the discontent surrounds the imposition of kafala law that binds the workers to employers where they cannot change jobs or leave the country without an exit visa.

An estimated 1.5 million migrant workers live in Qatar and make up 94% of the population, many coming from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and India. The remaining 6% are native Qataris with a lifestyle that is vastly different from those that often live in camps. Trades unions are banned in Qatar and there are currently 100 threatened with deporting because they were threatening to strike.

 

Picture: Behind the impressive images of the stadiums being built in Qatar is a very different story of workers living and working in primitive conditions

Article written by Mike Gannon

Share



Related Articles

Extra Fast Construction In Wood You Believe It?

Metsä Group’s new visitor centre in Äänekoski, in Central Finland, is a prime example of fast construction using wood. The 1,000sq.m building...

 Read Full Article
Time to Get Out of the Office

Feedback on new business ideas should be sought outside company walls, research from King’s Business School and the University of Amsterdam has found, but...

 Read Full Article
Wimpey Builds A Better Workplace

According to the Glassdoor job website, Taylor Wimpey has been voted as one of the best places to work in 2018. Scoring 4.3 out of 5 overall, the national housebuilder...

 Read Full Article
From Hands-free To Jail Bird

A female driver has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for killing a man while driving using a hands-free mobile phone. Samantha Ayres, from Horncastle, caused...

 Read Full Article
London Bridge (and Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Farringdon) Falling Down

All tracks surrounding landmark London Bridge station are now in place and ready for 2018. Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme has reached another crucial milestone...

 Read Full Article
Breathing Life Into London's Lungs As Pollution Death Rate Rises

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has strengthened his commitment to protect London’s Green Belt and other important open spaces for future generations and set out...

 Read Full Article
RBS Swings Environmental Axe In National Tree Week

In one year, the energy saving additive EndoTherm has helped RBS to reduce its energy consumption by 29% and carbon emissions by 10 tonnes. The new innovation, a...

 Read Full Article
Sector Deals - Construction Included In First Phase

The week ending Dec 1 saw Business Secretary, Greg Clarke, announce a new government deal designed to transform the construction industry. The flagship deal could see...

 Read Full Article
All Aboard On The Air Quality Charabanc

Local authorities and bus companies in Bristol, York, Brighton, Surrey, Denbighshire and Wiltshire have been awarded 11 million funding under the government’s...

 Read Full Article
Patience Must Prevail in UK Air Pollution Plight

Amid a recent flurry of headlines around air pollution in the UK, Bureau Veritas has been quick to assert that patience must prevail as there are many major challenges to...

 Read Full Article