Thursday, September 26, 2013

Worker Deaths in Doha

This is brutal, and a reason to consider relocating the 2012 World Cup if conditions are not addressed:
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports that immigrant workers on a massive construction project in Qatar are being treated inhumanely and dying at a rate of almost one per day from on-the-job accidents and heart failure.

Parsons Corp., in Pasadena, Calif., is managing construction of the $45 billion Lusail City project near the capital city, Doha, that’s being built by Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund to accommodate the 2022 soccer World Cup. A British unit of CH2M Hill, in Meridian, Colo., is listed on Lusail City’s website as one of three key contractors on the project. The two others are Hyder Consulting (HYC:LN) of Britain and Denmark’s Cowi.

The Guardian quoted workers as saying they were forced to work in temperatures over 120 degrees F. without adequate water and kept in squalid dormitories. Their passports were confiscated and their salaries withheld to prevent them from leaving, the newspaper said. It published part of a list compiled by the Nepalese embassy in Qatar that the publication said showed 44 Nepalese immigrants had died between June 4 and Aug. 8. According to the list, causes of death included “fall from height during work,” “traumatic crush injury,” electrocution, and cardiac arrest.
My strong reaction above comes from the belief that this construction site is not an isolated problem.



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