The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre issued a report, “On Shaky Ground: Migrant Workers’ Rights in Qatar and UAE Construction”. The report is mainly based on a survey of major construction companies operating in the two countries.
Several of the companies viewed positively based on survey results are companies with which BWI has global agreements. These companies are QDVC/VINCI, Salini Impregilo, and Besix. The report also cites some companies that are falling behind and still paying wages late and engaging in other abuses.
With the necessary support for progress by government agencies, companies can be encouraged to support progress rather than gaining competitive advantage through exploitation. This includes on issues of occupational health and safety. It is a particularly cruel form of competition that gains advantage from injuries and deaths on the job.
As in other countries, the only way to ensure that worker rights are fully protected in the UAE and Qatar is through effective government regulation and action. The report stresses that some companies feel that they are at a disadvantage because they are protecting rights and providing decent wages and working conditions. Governments, through measures such as minimum wages and effective implementation of the rules, can discourage such unfair competition.