Due to the criticism leveled at the cruel conditions faced by migrants while working on competition initiated by the Gulf State, changes were made to the procedures. Will they work, and will they Sustain?
Qatar began to implement labor reforms following the pan-Arab sentiment surrounding the World Cup. However, the reforms failed to meet the expectations of Qatar.
As its ability of the migrant workforce recipients’ unmet dreams and frustrations accumulated. As a result, Qatar began introducing new reforms to take troubles with the migrant workforce out of its system.
Will the game symbolize these developments, and how likely will they hold? A delegation of specialists provides their opinion.
Geoffrey: Is it good sportsmanship when workers have no benefit?
The World Cup, which workers are meant to get, is like a slap in the face of workers.
I interact with tens of thousands of employees every year. They do not know everything about their rights; their agreements are vandalized. There is discriminatory pay; and finally, there’s the weather. People work while it is roasting out. It is easy to get dehydrated while working. The job may cause deaths in the workplace, and families may be responsible.
Now there’s at least a minimum wage. The last time you used to complain about your salary, you couldn’t know whether or not it was a sign from God. Back then, it was illegal to speak of your salary. You know you should get at least 1,000 rials per calendar month (245). The problem is that the standard wage is so low compared to past rates.
Qatar’s parliament abolished the kafala system (a group of people. who can not freely change workplaces) for 2 to 3 months, after which time powerful Qataris possessing significant businesses began complaining.
‘Now workers can bargain for more favorable working conditions,’ says Max Tunon.
We commissioned a one-thousand-person survey among low-wage workers to learn more about the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions regarding kafala in Western countries such as Qatar and the UAE.
The reforms made for flexible working conditions, for which it’s great to have greater labor mobility. The work of entertainers and athletes is now safer thanks to collective bargaining. The local players are buying into Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince.
The government has sustained a close partnership with the ILO, international unions, NGOs, and others over the past six years. Notably, staff from the international unions are based here, sharing stories. And solutions with workers, helping them to address their problems.
‘All they require is to tick boxes,’ says the construction manager.
Just a handful of these companies are getting away with anything. Many people now walking around Qatar have lost their jobs because they have not received their end-of-service benefits or months of salary. I have seen many good people lose their jobs. It’s connected to the World Cup. Qatar wished to build everything as cheaply as possible. All the big construction companies were fighting it out.
The local body and FIFA government want to check as many boxes as possible. Generate a good report, and hope the people in charge don’t have to face the consequences of what they find. I’ve worked on many World Cup projects, and we had great and bad working conditions with unique employees. We did all our investigations in good working conditions. That’s how it works.
‘The true test will come after the World Cup,’ says Vani Saraswathi.
Qatar has undergone an extraordinary shift regarding labor reforms in recent years. Qatari society is hostile to constructive criticism and rapidly evolving folk movements. The 2022 World Cup spotlighted this issue and made significant progress.
The primary game and the real opportunity for change will occur after the 2022 World Cup. For this reason, the less rigorous and more reactive procedures and reforms have been focused on avoiding accountability instead of acceptance or behavioral change. As a result, the wealthy bosses have laughed in the faces of those who would directly address the problems Qatar has faced for many years.
The Qatari authorities and Fifa assert that the World Cup will leave a legacy of better workers’ rights in the country and the area. That seems unlikely.