MIAMI, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Miami Dolphins are currently courting Qatar Airways, an airline owned by the State of Qatar, an oil-rich dictatorship in the Middle East known for its disastrous human rights record, for potential naming rights of the hometown football stadium in Miami. The talks were first reported by NBC 6 South Florida. Before a deal is finalized, Floridians and Dolphins fans everywhere must first know what Qatar Airways represents: state-sanctioned human rights abuses with little to no worker protections.
It's been reported by international media, that, every week, approximately 29 migrant workers will die – total deaths are estimated to be 4,000 – building the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer facilities in Doha because of deplorable working conditions. As of last year, the International Trade Union Confederation estimated that as many as 1,200 workers had died already. Thousands more will suffer other horrifying abuses as workers across business sectors have no protections, and can be legally held in indentured servitude.
Qatar Airways has, itself, committed abuses against its employees as well. In Doha, Qatar Airways mandates that its employees live in company accommodations where their personal lives are monitored and requires adherence to company-mandated curfews. Female employees who become pregnant can be terminated and are not allowed to be accompanied to work by a man other than a husband, father or brother. Qatar Airways workers in Doha are also banned from marrying without the company's permission and women must adhere to strict grooming policies, including weight limits. Earlier this month, American workers who were protesting Qatar's human rights abuses at a Qatar Airways event in Boston were referred to as "…ignorant people" by the airline's CEO, as reported by the Boston Herald.
The Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere (AWARE), a nonprofit organization working to bring international attention to policies and business tactics that harm workers' rights around the world, calls on the Miami Dolphins players, fans, team owner, Steve Ross, the National Football League, and the NFL Players Association to reject selecting Qatar Airways as the named-sponsor of the Dolphin's new, world-class stadium. AWARE calls on all Dolphins supporters to ask themselves: "Do you want your favorite football team to represent such egregious human rights abuses? Should profits from the stadium advertising fund a dictatorship responsible for modern slave-like conditions and the deaths of thousands of workers?"
The abuses of migrant workers in Qatar, who make up 99% of the nation's private sector workforce, are not limited to the World Cup laborers. In Doha, all workers, including Qatar Airways employees, are prohibited from unionizing or protesting. Domestic labor workers are excluded from the country's labor laws, even as they face outrageous sexual and physical abuses, are forced into 100-hour+ work weeks, and are held against their will with their passports confiscated by employers. All legal migrant workers in Qatar are tied to a sponsorship system, which effectively allows employers to deny migrants their exit visas. Workers often complain they are denied wages and are forced to live in unsanitary housing. Further, the LGBT community in Qatar lacks any protection, as being homosexual is illegal in the state. Journalists who have attempted to report on such egregious human rights abuses were illegally detained and questioned last year.
Headed by worker rights advocate, Mike Lux, AWARE has a specific focus on the rights of oppressed workers who endure a range of abuses. AWARE questions whether the United States, the Miami Dolphins, and the NFL should be doing business with nations like Qatar that regularly engage in well-documented human rights abuses. AWARE's Mike Lux said, "While we work to change government policy in the U.S., consumers, sports fans, and Miami locals can speak now with their wallets and choose travel choices other than Qatar Airways. Don't fly with governments and airlines that have blood on their hands, and demand better representation for your city and your team."
All Americans should demand transparency and basic human rights for people everywhere, especially from those we allow to do business in our country.
To learn more or to help start the conversation, visit: allianceforworkers.org @Alliance4Wrkrs #boycottQatar
CONTACT & TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW WITH MIKE LUX:
Jesse Brown at (443) 961-4833 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere