28 November 2014
Qatar is signaling rejection of demands by human rights and trade union activists to grant trade union and collective bargaining rights to its majority migrant worker population with the detention and likely deportation of more than 100 predominantly South Asian laborers, who went on strike to protest low pay as well as poor working and living conditions.
Doha News reported that the workers, among the lowest paid in the wealthy Gulf state, were arrested on the third day of their strike after scuffles broke out with police. Those detained were among some 800 striking workers primarily employed by two companies. Qatar Freelance Trading & Contracting and Qatar Middle East Co.
Online business directories describe Qatar Freelance Trading & Contracting as a manpower supplier or recruitment agency. A Qatar Foundation study designed to set out ethical standards for the recruitment of foreign labour earlier this year defined manpower suppliers as “agencies that recruit and ‘warehouse’ migrant labour, hiring (or leasing) them out to companies and other organizations on short-term or seasonal bases.”
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Wuerzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2014