A report published by rights group Amnesty International says that around 100 workers weren’t paid their salaries by a contractor working on one of the world cup stadiums until the government stepped in.
Human rights group Amnesty International says that some employees working for Qatar Meta Coats (QMC), a design and construction company subcontracted for façade works on the Al Bayt Stadium were not paid their salaries for up to seven months.
In a report published on Thursday an Amnesty official said:
“Migrant workers told us about the hardship they endured having worked without pay on Al Bayt Stadium for months on end. They are worried about their families, who rely on the money they send home to pay school fees and medical bills”
Qatar’s Government Communications Office responded to the reportexplaining that it was in fact World Cup organisers — the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy — that raised the case of the unpaid workers to the Ministry of Labour back in September. Consequently the guilty company was fined and its operations suspended until outstanding payments were made.
However earlier this year Qatar Meta Coats again failed to pay workers, blaming the economic impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. The continued failure by QMC’s owners to fulfil their responsibilities to their workers and to abide by Qatari labour law resulted in the company being blacklisted by authorities.
Amnesty however believes that officials were too slow in responding, insisting “ it shouldn’t take an Amnesty investigation for workers to be paid what they are owed.”
According to the government’s statement, it is working to make sure things like this do not happen again.
“Draft legislation was passed last week to increase financial and non-financial penalties for labour law violations, including those related to delayed salary payments.” Qatar’s Government Communications Office
Doha News understands that Qatar Meta Coats has recently been sold and that the Ministry of Labour is overseeing and monitoring the activities of the new owners to ensure all outstanding payments are settled as well as other things like renewing expired residence permits for the workers as well as their health cards.
This is yet another story of a private business either unable or unwilling to pay its workers due to bad management. There are greedy and incompetent bosses everywhere, but the spotlight is on Qatar for many reasons not least because it will be hosting the next World Cup.
Some Qataris may feel that their country is unfairly targeted in the news — and that may often be the case, but sometimes it is the small number of Qatari businessmen who refuse to abide by their own government’s laws that result in negative coverage.