UCATT in Joint Mission to Qatar to highlight migrant worker abuse

Construction union UCATT have today (March 24th) begun a joint mission to expose the terrible abuse being suffered by migrant construction workers in Qatar.

Hundreds of migrant construction workers die in Qatar every year. The workers who are denied basic rights are often forced to work excessively long hours for seven days a week in temperatures which frequently exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

The appalling conditions that workers in Qatar face have been highlighted due to the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup there. Work is now beginning on the stadiums for that event.

To further highlight the abuses that workers suffer and begin to place parliamentary pressure on Qatar the delegation includes two Labour MPs Chris Williamson MP for Derby North and Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow. Both MPs have a construction background.

Other members of the delegation include: Steve Murphy General Secretary of UCATT, Kevin Maguire Associate Editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror, Neil Vernon Chair of UCATT's Executive Council, Jim Kennedy UCATT’s National Political Officer and Vice Chair of the Labour Party and Ellie Reeves of Labour’s National Executive Committee who is the co-convenor of Labour’s Britain in the World Policy Commission.

The joint mission is being undertaken alongside Building Workers International (BWI) the international federation of construction unions.

Since January 2012, 500 Indian migrant workers have died in Qatar including 24 in January 2014. During the same period at least 382 Nepalese workers have also died in Qatar. Figures have not been produced for countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh who also have large numbers of migrant workers in the country.

As part of the visit the delegation will be meeting with migrant construction workers, learning further details about the appalling working conditions that workers experience and also visiting the terrible living conditions of the workers.

Steve Murphy, said: “Hundreds of construction workers are dying needlessly in Qatar every year. It is vital that Qatar is forced to act and to ensure that this appalling death toll and abuse of workers is ended immediately. Pressure must be placed on Qatar to ensure that the deaths of workers are no longer ignored.”

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