DOHA: Organisers of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar have said they are “dismayed” by claims that migrant workers who fitted their offices are still waiting to be paid.
Workers from Nepal, Sri Lanka and India claim they are still owed 13 months’ wages after the contractor collapsed. Some workers had been left stranded in the country, working for as little as $0.85 a day (50p), according to a report in The Guardian.
The timing of the report is particularly embarrassing since FIFA president Sepp Blatter had a one-hour meeting with the Emir last Friday to discuss Qatar’s progress over legislation on conditions of foreign workers.
Over the past year Qatar has promised to improve the rights and conditions of migrant workers but the BBC has reported that a Guardian investigation found migrants who had worked on the Qatar 2022 offices in the Al Bidda skyscraper in Doha were still waiting for their pay.
But Lee Trading’s collapse led to Amnesty International raising the case with Qatar’s prime minister last November after many of the workers were left stranded. The situation has remained the same and five of the workers have since been arrested and imprisoned after being left without ID papers.
In a statement released on Monday, Qatar 2022 said it was “heavily dismayed to learn of the behaviour of Lee Trading with regard to the timely payment of its workers.”
Officials said they relayed the concerns raised by Amnesty to the “relevant authorities” last year and insisted they would “continue to press for a speedy and fair conclusion to all cases.”
Qatar moved to change controversial laws on foreign workers in May that tied migrant workers to a single employer. Human rights campaigners have described the kafala ‘sponsorship’ system as a form of modern slavery.