Qatar World Cup stadium workers struggle to secure salaries

The workers came from countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines, according to Amnesty. (AFP)
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Updated 11 June 2020

Qatar World Cup stadium workers struggle to secure salaries

  • Organizers of the 2022 World Cup said the case was “unacceptable”

LONDON: Migrant workers building a World Cup stadium in Qatar have been struggling to secure pay they are owed, a human rights group and the Qatari government said Wednesday, highlighting ongoing labor issues in the country.
Amnesty International said around 100 workers on the Al Bayt Stadium have had problems securing months of salaries from design and construction subcontractor Qatar Meta Coats.
“Although recent payments will provide some welcome relief for workers, Qatar’s World Cup organizers told us they had known about the salary delays since July 2019,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice. “This raises the question of why Qatar allowed workers to continue working for months without pay.
“For years we have been urging Qatar to reform the system, but clearly change has not come fast enough. It shouldn’t take an Amnesty investigation for workers to be paid what they are owed.”
The workers came from countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines, according to Amnesty.
Organizers of the 2022 World Cup said the case was “unacceptable” but said it came to light last year after audits and interviews with workers by their welfare department.
“Our efforts resulted in an initial payment of three months overdue salaries to workers,” the Doha-based organizing committee said. “We continued to exert every effort within our power to redress the issue.”
The government said it was made aware of Qatar Meta Coats’ owed salaries in September 2019, leading to the company being fined and operations suspended.
“Financial insecurity between November 2019 and April 2020 meant that Qatar Meta Coats’ workforce received irregular salary payments during this period,” the government said. “In May 2020, the issue was partially resolved and all salary payments from February to May were paid in full by the company.
“There are a small number of outstanding salary payments preceding February, which will be resolved in the coming days.”
Amnesty said some workers complained in January to Qatar’s labor tribunals.
Qatar was awarded the Middle East’s first World Cup in a FIFA vote in December 2010. Pressure from rights groups on conditions for workers intensified as Qatar started to build the infrastructure it lacked to host a major international sports event.
“There are still issues to overcome, including those related to the attitudes and behaviors of a small minority,” the government said. “This will take time, but we remain firmly committed to the task.”


Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

Updated 23 September 2020

Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

  • The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99

ORLANDO: Jamal Murray scored 28 points as the Denver Nuggets held off a ferocious late fightback from the Los Angeles Lakers to roar back into contention in the Western Conference finals series on Tuesday.

Murray nailed two crucial late three-pointers in the closing minutes as Denver held on for a 114-106 victory in game three to reduce the Lakers’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

But the Nuggets — who looked in complete control for long periods of the contest — were given a mighty scare by the Lakers in a thrilling fourth quarter battle.

The Lakers had trailed by 20 points with just over 10 minutes remaining but whittled away the Denver lead to just three points with 3min 53sec left on the clock in Orlando.

But just as it looked as if LeBron James and Anthony Davis were poised to complete a remarkable comeback, Murray regrouped to take the game away from the Lakers.

The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99 and he then provided the assist for Paul Millsap to make it 108-99.

With less than a minute on the clock, Murray struck the dagger blow with a 29-foot three-point jumpshot to make it 111-99 and effectively seal victory.

Denver coach Michael Malone said his team — who had suffered an agonizing buzzer-beater defeat in game two on Sunday — were determined not to go 3-0 down in the series.

The Nuggets have already overturned 3-1 series deficits en route to the Western Conference finals.

“I had no doubt we were going to show up tonight,” Malone said.

“We have won six straight elimination games. Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we’re not ready to go. They’re a very resilient group and they have proved that time and time again.”

Asked about his late flourish, Murray said he had set out to lead by example.

“That’s my whole energy, my whole approach to the game, not getting down if I miss a couple of shots,” Murray said.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive ... but the most important part is the energy I bring when I’m talking to my team-mates, being a vocal leader, getting up and down and pushing everybody so they tend to follow. I just wanted to see them have a lot of fun today.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, were left reflecting on an uneven display which ultimately left James and Davis with too much to do.

James led the scoring with a triple double comprised of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, with six turnovers. Davis had 27 points, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12) and Kyle Kuzma (11) the only other Lakers players to crack double figures.

Murray, who also had 12 assists, was backed with 26 points from Jerami Grant while Nikola Jokic weighed in with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

“You put yourself in an 18-point hole, it’s tough to climb out of that,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

“I thought Denver played with great energy throughout the game. We didn’t match it early, we matched it late. They’re a great basketball team so credit it to them for the win. They played a really good basketball game.

“We were not as sharp as we could have been on both ends of the floor. We were playing at a high level, but were a little bit off in the first half.

“But I liked the spirit that the guys competed with down the stretch to try and make it a game.”