Despite the global challenges of COVID-19, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) have continued the work of the SC-BWI Joint Working Group (JWG).
Set up by the SC and BWI as part of a cooperation agreement in 2016, the JWG ensures that workers on FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ construction sites are supported by rigorous health and safety standards, as stipulated in the SC's Workers' Welfare Standards (WW Standards).
In the absence of customary on-the-ground-inspections, both parties held a conference call between key members of the JWG, ensuring minimal disruption in achieving the shared objective of protecting workers engaged on SC projects.
Led by Mahmoud Qutub, Executive Director of the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department, the SC detailed the measures taken to protect migrant workers, which are in line with guidance from Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
BWI was represented by General Secretary Ambet Yuson, along with union health and safety inspectors and experts from UK’s UNITE, Australia’s CMFEU and the Swedish Painters. The meeting gave BWI the opportunity to share their own experiences of how various countries are responding to unprecedented workplace health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yuson explained BWI’s key concerns came from the number of workers who were on site at the same time and living in shared accommodation. These concerns were recognised by the SC, who discussed the steps taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 on their projects. All participants agreed that workers’ representatives and Workers’ Welfare Officers had a key role in raising awareness and providing feedback from workers on the measures taken to combat COVID-19.