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Guess How Much Qatar Cares About the Workers Dying in the Country?

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It cares not one whit!

A senior governmental body in Qatar met on Monday and voted against ratifying proposed changes to the country’s much criticised labour laws.

The Advisory Council, which can approve legislation that must be signed off by the emir, agreed to send proposed reforms of employment law back to a committee for further review, the state news agency QNA reported, rather than approve them.

Doha has come under severe pressure to change its controversial kafala sponsorship system of employment, which restricts the rights and freedoms of foreign workers. The wealthy Gulf state, which is due to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, has been criticised by rights groups for failing to provide adequate working conditions for those constructing football stadia.

New employment legislation was supposed to make it easier for foreign workers to change their jobs and gain entry and exit visas, however, local media reported that the Advisory Council has gone against this and proposed giving employers more control over their staff.

“If an expatriate worker deliberately creates problems for the employer and does not comply with the contract to force the latter to end the contract or transfer his sponsorship to another employer, he should not be allowed to change jobs even if he runs away,” the committee recommended, according to Peninsula news site.

In other words, the World Cup should clearly stay in this workers’ paradise.

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  • divadab

    Plenty more where these guys came from. Oil money buys an unlimited supply of slaves – and protection from the imperium. Collateral damage in the empire of oil. Be thankful it ain’t you, all comfy in the heart of the empire, fool’s paradise where we have the luxury of arguing over trivialities as if they were important.

  • Murc

    I still the World Cup isn’t actually held in Qatar. I may be an unrepentant optimist but there you go.

    • Malaclypse

      Perhaps, but the reason will be the heat, not the human rights abuses.

      • West of the Cascades

        I think it will be both (plus bribing voters) – I predict a re-vote within ten months (announced by the new FIFA president sometime this fall).

      • TribalistMeathead

        They’ve already rejected a request to move the WC to the winter months. Why would they do that, but move the WC to another country? And can you expect the shitshow that’s going to result from Qatar spending billions of dollars on stadia and infrastructure with the understanding that the WC would be held there, only to have FIFA go “nm” years after the announcement was made and construction began?

        • wjts

          They haven’t rejected that request. The 2022 World Cup is scheduled for November/December, with the final being played on December 18.

  • JustRuss

    Walmart should ship all their surplus Confederate paraphernalia to Qatar, sounds like they would appreciate it.

    • TribalistMeathead

      One of our regulars loves to babble about how popular the Confederate battle flag is in Ghana. Can’t remember who, though.

    • ColBatGuano

      This was my thought as well. Recycling!

  • Origami Isopod

    Somewhat related: A conservative s/f writer named Ray Blank, who has lived in Qatar, asserts that holding the s/f convention Worldcon there would force attendees to “engage with a society where homosexuality is against the law, many women choose [citation needed] to cover their faces, and expatriate workers have inadequate legal protection, leading to their mistreatment.” He claims this would be a good thing because it would promote “political diversity.” (He wrote a post dedicated to that subject one week later, which I do not link in this comment because it is not directly related to the topic of Qatar and because I don’t want to be kicked into the spam filter.)

    You can also see him on this page of a thread at the s/f fandom news blog File 770, shaming people who have moral qualms about giving Qatar that business as being “negative about foreign cultures.” There is more discussion on that and the following pages, which reveals that Blank hasn’t done his homework about how Worldcon is run and hasn’t even investigated whether there is much of an s/f fanbase among Qataris.

    • So it’s basically a more long-winded version of “liberals are the real racists”?

      • Origami Isopod

        Yep.

    • Barry Freed

      Very few women in Qatar cover their faces. I think I’ve seen about as many women with their face covered when I was living in Queens as I have in the Gulf. There are a lot of weird and just plain wrong assumptions about Gulf countries in that thread. True, you won’t see miniskirts on the street or in the mall but women wear a wide variety of dress that wouldn’t look out of place in NYC or any other major American or European city. Sure, Qatar is not Dubai, it’s more on the conservative side, but it’s far from being like Saudi Arabia.

  • Muhammad Hussein bin Jabbar

    More Islamophobic cultural imperialism; Muslim should be able to maintain our unique customs without interference from the west.

    • KmCO

      Jennie, Jennie, who can I turn to?

      ETA: couldn’t resist. Sorry, everyone (who’s not Jennie).

      • Brett

        Muslim Jennie!

    • Malaclypse

      Does sock puppetry take away any of the sting of losing King?

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