Support migrant workers in Qatar

October 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm (class, Human rights, internationalism, Jim D, Middle East, RMT, Slavery, solidarity, unions, workers)

Adapted from the London RMT’s website London Calling:

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RMT General Secretary Bob Crow and London Transport Region Executive Council member Janine Booth have signed a letter expressing solidarity with Nepali and other migrant workers in Qatar.  Other signatories so far include NUT General Secretary Christine Blower. London RMT invites others  to put their name to the letter. If you wish to do so, post a comment with your (real) name and union/position (if any) below the line here or contact:  shreya.paudel2010@gmail.com

The letter
We are writing to express our solidarity with Nepali and other migrant workers in Qatar.

As the Guardian has extensively documented, Qatar is severely abusing the rights of its overwhelmingly migrant workforce, in many cases literally working people to death. Abuses of Nepali and other migrant workers in Qatar include the use of forced labour, not paying workers for months, confiscating passports and refusing to issue ID cards, refusing to allow people to go home, putting workers ten or more to a filthy room with few or no facilities, providing grossly inadequate food and even denying free water in the desert heat. It is no wonder that hundreds have already died.

The Anti-Slavery International campaign has rightly said that these things “go beyond forced labour to slavery”.

Labour movement, student movement and Nepali community activists will be protesting outside the Qatari embassy in London on Saturday 12 October. We demand an end to these abuses and for Nepali and international trade unions to be allowed into Qatar to verify changes and inform workers of their rights.

  • Read more about the horific exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar in this Guardian article and Nick Cohen’s powerful pieces in the Observer here and here.

7 Comments

  1. Babs said,

    Qatar reads like a Bourgeoisie paradise.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Really???

      Sounds like Apartheid South Africa, but if anything worse.

      • Bablu Rahman said,

        As in from a ruling class point of view. They have a lot of power over the workers who have very little rights and are subject to blackmail if they protest. But yeah I get your point, it’s much worse if you’re not Qatari.

  2. blerg ocmoeneyary said,

    Labour camps, slums, tent cities, export processing zones, gated communities… the current global bourgeois order is characterised by deepening and new forms of aparthied. It is increasingly becoming the norm.

  3. finbar said,

    Modern capitalism!s progression, and better profits than the old days.Eh! blerg.Capitol, has no colour in mind, just what it can make a profit from.

  4. Bablu Rahman said,

    I think a lot of people don’t realise how racist the Gulf States can be. Though they employ millions of migrant workers, there’s definitely a caste system in place, with the Gulf Islamic Arabs placed at the top of chain, followed by Westerners and other Arabs while at the bottom of the ladder are the labourers from South and North East Asia.

  5. UNESYN Europe said,

    UNESYN Europe Chapter Board
    Public Information on Nepali Labourer Issues in Qatar

    UNESYN Europe chapter, part of the UNESYN charity based in Nepal, with its civil diplomacy (think tank type) programme representing Nepal and Nepalese overseas – is concerned about the treatment and situation of Nepalese immigrant labourers in Qatar following the recent report by Guardian.

    We are interested to know what Government of Qatar has to say in this matter as we find it unacceptable about the situation they work in, the deaths that have been caused. Furthermore, we want to understand about Qatar’s general commitment to human rights and workers’ welfare in the face of 2022 World Cup where UNESYN Europe has potential to voice its opinion with governments, civil society and other stakeholders on issues of international scale.

    I would be grateful to have your reply on above matters.

    Best Regards,
    Gautam Nyaupane
    UNESEEN Patron

    27 Sept 2013

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