Strike at the 2018 World Cup “Luzhniki” Stadium in Moscow

In 2014, the BWI conducted a fact-finding mission to Moscow as part of its Global Sports Campaign Decent Work noting that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup. At that time, BWI representatives visited 2018 World Cup stadium “Luzhniki”.  The reconstruction of the “Luzhniki” stadium had just begun. Stadium administration and employers told the BWI delegation they were committed to respect workers’ rights.

Two years later, it appears that the situation is not as rosy. On March 2, construction workers working in the reconstruction of "Luzhniki" Stadium in Moscow, started a strike due to unpaid wages and absence of employment contracts.

According to press reports, work on the stadium site basically shut down as workers complained about not receiving their wages for two months. In addition, the workers were virtually working illegally as they were not granted employment contracts for one and a half years. In Russia it is important for workers to have employment contracts to seek recourse or file complaints should they face problems.

The BWI is concerned about the current situation in Moscow as well as the preparations for the 2018 World Cup noting that two workers have already died in St. Petersburg and just last month a worker was injured in the stadium construction in Vogograd. The BWI believes that all stakeholders involved in the preparations including FIFA should work to ensure labour rights in all projects related to the 2018 World Cup, specifically to make sure that workers are paid on time and that they are provided with employment contracts.