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More Hearings on the FIFA Scandal

“Jill Wells, an official of Engineers Against Poverty, an advocacy group in Britain, described the guidelines issued by CH2M as commendable. But, she said, the company’s actions were unlikely to have much practical impact because construction companies passed responsibility for worker welfare down to subcontractors.

“What the main contractors do is pass the risk down the subcontracting chain, and it is the workers on the bottom of the chain” who bear it, Ms. Wells said.” (New York Times)

The New York Times reported last week that the 2014 DLA Piper report on the mistreatment of workers on the construction sites for the 2022 World Cup has resulted in few changes even though the FIFA scandal and the concerns of Qatar were thought to bring about major changes. This comes after over 1,200 deaths have been reported at those construction sites and labor camps.

The US Senate subcommittee embroiled in the FIFA controversy has also heard about the “conditions akin to indentured servitude” created by labor brokers and governments supplying workers from India, Nepal and the Philippines in the worker camps and on the construction sites. US construction companies like CH2M Hill, AECOM, and Bechtel are the general contractors on the soccer facilities where Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup finals. The article states that,

“While these laborers are not directly employed by the American companies, thousands of them work on projects the companies manage or oversee. As a result, American construction companies face labor issues similar to the ones confronting United States clothing or technology businesses that profit from cheap labor abroad, said Michael Pullen, a lawyer formerly with DLA Piper who headed the firm’s inquiry in Qatar."

Sounds like a sub-sub contractor issue and is likely tied to the on-going controversy on bribery and kick-backs on those projects. We will track the hearings and continue to highlight articles and developments as they occur.