She said British newspaper Some of them have been told they need to leave even before their employment contract expires, while others have not received their last salary or full bonus, as she said.
It appears that Doha’s decision to repatriate migrant workers to their countries before the start of the World Cup is linked to a government circular, published last year, the same newspaper said, ordering some contractors to complete all jobs by half. September as part of a plan to “reduce the number of workers in the country” in view of world events.
The Guardian newspaper interviewed 25 workers, most of whom said they expected to stay in Qatar for two years, but that it was decided to repatriate them early.
“Now many of the respondents have returned to their countries,” according to the report published Thursday by the newspaper.
“We don’t want to go back”
Some of the workers who spoke to the Guardian said they did not work long enough to pay the large sums, the equivalent of four or five months’ salary in Qatar, that they had borrowed to pay recruiting agents in their countries of origin to secure work in Qatar.
In this regard, a Nepalese worker said: “We don’t want to go back, we are poor. We need to work.”
The man said he was forced to pay $ 1,000 in hiring fees to secure the job.
“I haven’t paid my taxes yet, I’ll be a loser if I’m sent back,” he added.
Other workers are in a state of confusion: while it was decided to send them back to their countries, they were told that they could be recalled after the World Cup.
Most of them face the sad reality of not getting paid for up to six months as they wait to see if they will be able to return.
All interviewed workers said they have no choice but to leave.
One worker said that many of his colleagues have already been sent home “and some are on the list” before adding, “If your name is on the list, you should go.”
Ansar Ali, an Indian worker, said he paid a recruiting agent more than $ 1,000 to secure the job and revealed that he borrowed the money at a 10% interest rate to support his taxes. he thought he could pay back more than two years of work.
But just 10 months after arriving in Qatar, he said: “I don’t know when I’ll be sent, but I know I’ll have to go. Two or three of my friends have already been warned.”
Then he continued: “How will I live when I return? How will I pay my debts?”
Most of the workers affected appear to have been placed on short-term “visas”, where they were told they would work for at least two years.
Letters that include employment contracts promise annual leave and round-trip airfare after two years and require a two-month notice period after two or more years of service.
Some workers have blamed employment agencies in their home countries for falsely promising a two-year contract.
Others have said that the responsibility lies with the contractor, with one saying, “This is the company’s fault because they made the deal with the agent.”
A study conducted by Mig-rights.org, an organization affiliated with the “Mig Rights” organization that defends the rights of migrant workers in the Gulf, revealed similar cases among workers who were recently repatriated to Nepal by some of the largest construction companies in Qatar.
Some workers told the organization that they did not receive full pay, overtime pay, or severance pay.
Others said they were sent home before their contract expired.
“Who cares about us?”
A worker who has worked in Qatar for 12 years, including several World Cup stadiums, said: “How great it would be for workers to watch matches in the stadiums we have built ourselves, but who cares about us?”
“It is crucial for the Qatari government to put workers’ rights first in any decision and ensure that the people who made Qatar’s dream of hosting the World Cup a reality do not confront each other,” said May Romanos, Amnesty International.
He said: “Measures to reduce the workforce in companies must comply with the law and this should not adversely affect employees.”
He further stated that labor law allows employers and employees to terminate the contract before the end of its term, as long as they comply with the legal notice period.
He added that foreign workers have the right to change jobs in case of termination of the contract and stressed that there are legal procedures if the employee does not receive the salary or bonuses upon termination of the contract.
The same official added: “The state of Qatar is committed to a fair and efficient work system and we appreciate the indispensable role of foreign workers in our economy”.