Business News of 2014-02-18

ITUC cautions Ghanaian workers against migration to Qatar

Ms Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trades Union Confederation (ITUC) on Monday cautioned Ghanaian workers against migration to Qatar in search of greener pastures.

She said employment recruitment agencies went about recruiting labour force from developing countries such as those in Asia and recently Africa; promising juicy employment offers in Qatar, only for them to realize that it was a fallacy.

According to the General Secretary, modern day slavery was being practised in Qatar, stating that “If we don’t stop this, who will do it for us?” She explained that Qatar was a police state where there were no labour unions and respect for the rights of immigrant workers, adding that over 1.4 million immigrant workers were currently living in deplorable conditions such as slums in Qatar.

Ms Burrow, who gave the warning in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side line of an ITUC meeting with the Steering Committee of the Ghana Trades Union Congress in Accra, said domestic workers; mostly women were very often brutalized by their masters, while some of them ended up in detention camps with pregnancies or children.

She said because of the decision of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to allow Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, the construction industry was booming in that country; however, its workers had no bargaining rights.

She advised Ghanaian workers to cross-check job offers from Qatar, for the reality on the ground before accepting them, declaring that even those who were professionals such as the footballers once lured into Qatar found it very difficult to get their travel documents in order to return to their native countries.

The General Secretary bemoaned that getting justice in Qatar was very difficult for workers to achieve.

In view of that, Ms Burrow appealed to the FIFA to cancel its earlier decision to award the 2022 World Cup host to Qatar, and also not to award any World Cup tournament to any police state.