Union supports campaign for World Cup legacy for migrant workers

For every goal that’s scored in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, around 39 people will have died, former Socceroos captain Craig Foster told Federation Council on Saturday.

The goal Federation, Foster and human rights and union activists want kicked ahead of the World Cup in November is compensation and a decent work legacy for migrant workers, who will have made the World Cup in Qatar possible, and their families.

Thanks to strong campaigning by union and human rights organisations since the Gulf nation won the right to host the tournament in 2010, the kafala slave labour system that affected migrant workers has been abolished and FIFA has introduced the first human rights policy in any major sporting organisation, but there are many critical issues still to be addressed.

In temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius migrant workers have toiled for up to 16 hours a day building infrastructure in time for the opening game and the cost has been the loss of 6500 lives, Foster said.

He is amplifying the voices of families who have lost a breadwinner and has put his support behind the #PayUpFIFA campaign for just compensation for all migrant workers involved in the World Cup preparations noting FIFA has taken responsibility for the death of only 35 migrant workers working on stadia projects.

Foster announced he would donate the fees he earns for broadcasting on SBS during the tournament to the families of the migrant workers and called on other broadcasters and former players around the world, who will profit from this World Cup to do likewise, and to at least make a donation directly to these families.”

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Building and Wood Workers’ International and other civil society organisations are calling on FIFA and other stakeholders to:

  • set aside no less than $US 440 million to fund a comprehensive remediation program to address abuses suffered by migrant workers in the preparation for the tournament
  • build a migrant workers’ centre, a vital contribution to address ongoing and future injustices, and to amplify the voice of migrant workers long after the World Cup is over.

Our contribution
Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said: In the spirit of solidarity and consistent with our proud internationalist and social justice tradition in protecting and advancing protection and advancement of human rights Federation has donated $5000 to the Building and Wood Workers’ International to support the FIFA World Cup Qatar Decent Work Legacy campaign and the establishment of the migrant workers’ centre.”

Your financial support and your support for the campaign will boost the morale and the spirit of the migrant representative/leaders who continue to demand for their rights,” Building and Wood Workers’ International General Secretary Ambet Yuson wrote in response.

For more information about the #PayUp FIFA campaign click here.