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Message to Qatar on Workers’ Memorial Day: No workers’...

Message to Qatar on Workers’ Memorial Day: No workers’ rights no World Cup

25 April 2014

Photo opportunity for International Workers’ Memorial Day

When : Monday 28 April 2014  8:30 – 9:00  
Where: Qatar Embassy: 1 Audley St, WIK 1NB.

On International Workers’ Memorial Day (28 April 2014), workers and trade unionists will hand in a letter of protest to the Qatari embassy in London to demand an end to the deaths and exploitation of migrant workers involved in the construction of sites for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Unite activists will unveil a banner outside the Qatar embassy reading “No Workers Rights No World Cup – Qatar 2022.”

The ITUC estimates that 4,000 construction workers will perish in Qatar before a single ball is kicked. Last year alone 200 Nepalese and 241 Indian construction workers lost their lives suffering heat exhaustion, fatal injury or death from falls.

Under the kafala system of control operated in Qatar the imported 1.2 million migrant workers are effectively bonded labour, unable to leave jobs or the Emirate without permission of their employers.

Unite members and activists will be taking part in memorial services across the UK to remember the dead and to fight for the living (see notes to editors for link to details of the events).

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “On International Workers’ Memorial Day we remember the dead and fight for the living. We will be at the Qatar embassy to demand an end to the deaths and exploitation of migrant workers involved in the construction of sites for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. If Qatar does not act urgently it should be stripped of the World Cup.

“International Workers’ Memorial Day is an important reminder of the link between  the scandal of what is happening today in Qatar, and tragedies like the deaths of workers at the Rana Plaza factory collapse last year in Bangladesh and even the deaths of construction workers in the UK. Employers try to keep unions out to maximise profits and it happens globally.

“But the evidence shows that trade union workplaces are safer workplaces. So many workplace deaths and accidents could have been prevented through allowing strong trade unions to play a genuine role on the ground and to be involved in health and safety decisions from the outset.”


ENDS

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1

Notes to editors

Join an IWMD event near you http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/events/international-workers-memorial-day/

• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.