Many New Yorkers are familiar with the International Federation of Association Football, or FIFA. In 2022, FIFA will play its popular international World Cup tournament in Qatar. During preparations, however, FIFA has come under fire for the deplorable conditions of migrant workers building stadiums to host the games.
Amnesty International is currently studying the working conditions to determine the extent of the abuse. According to one worker, “God knows there are days when I cannot continue, everything becomes too much. The only thing that keeps me alive is the thought of my children.”
The worker, one of more than one and a half million, often coming from countries, such as Bangladesh, Nepal and India, currently earns $160 a month. He sends back to his two young children at home. And, this is after paying a recruiter $4,000 for the job.
In addition to receiving far less than promised, the worker must also deal with inconsistent payments and false promises on salary. The salary these workers receive is often less than half of what was promised. Moreover, many other violations still occur, such as receiving as little as one meal a day, and even having their passport taken away from them, forcing them to stay at their job and not return home.
In the state of New York, both Federal and state laws are in place to assure that employees work in a safe environment, and that they are not taken advantage of by employers. These employee rights do not extend internationally, though, so it is important for all employees to know and understand their rights in the workplace.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Why FIFA’s New President Must Act Now to Prevent a World Cup Built on Abuse,” Salil Shetty, April 19, 2016