Qatar steps up plans to establish labor unions ahead of 2022

In a nod to trade unions calling for a boycott of the 2022 World Cup due to labor rights violations, Qatar is ramping up plans to establish the country’s first union, media reports state.

Arabian Business reports:

“Planning for the World Cup is not restricted to construction and infrastructure improvements but includes addressing workers’ rights,” Hussein Al Mulla, deputy minister of labour, was quoted as saying (in a local Arabic daily).

“Qatar is planning to form an elected and independent workers’ union to protect workers’ rights regardless of their nationality,” he added.

The statement is stronger than the one Al Mulla made earlier this month, when he indicated that Qatar would set up a committee to study the issue of creating unions.

That comment was dismissed by the International Trade Union Confederation, which has been pushing FIFA for at least six months about the mistreatment of workers in Qatar.

At that time, Al-Mulla also said the government is reevaluating the country’s much-decried sponsorship, or “kafala” system.

So far, however, there appears to be a lot of talk about these issues and little action.

Anyone know more?

Credit: Photo by Karen Blumberg

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