On 19-20 April 2016, a national conference on the 2018 World Cup Decent Work Campaign took place in St-Petersburg, Russia. Regional leaders from the Construction and Building Material Workers Trade Union (RCWU) and health and safety specialists from host cities of the 2018 World Cup came together to discuss the problems and possible solutions around the construction work for the World Cup and plan actions for the homestretch of the campaign.
Regional trade union leaders committed to organize workers employed at the World Cup construction sites. Most of the workers involved in preparation to the 2018 World Cup are migrant workers from Central Asia, in particular from Tajikistan.
To organize them and protect their rights the trade unions in Central Asia and Russia need to work together. Trade unions in Tajikistan have already started to outreach potential migrant workers to inform them about labour and trade union rights in Russia before they go there to work.
Guest speakers from St-Petersburg State University and FIFA Local Organizing Committee Russia-2018 participated in the conference and shared their experiences and perspectives on how to improve working conditions for all workers involved in the preparation to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The participants also discussed the relationship between FIFA and the FIFA Local Organizing Committee in Russia. In February 2016 the interaction between BWI, RCWU and FIFA Local Organizing Comittee’s resulted in a joint inspection to the 2018 World Cup stadium in St-Petersburg.
At the conference it was proposed to do inspections regular and systematic basis. For this reason, the RCWU and BWI initiated negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding, which includes commitments of all parties involved to promote decent working conditions in the frame of preparation to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“It is very important for our union to protect the rights of workers involved in the preparation to the World Cup 2018. We also want to use 2018 World Cup as opportunity to raise awareness about labour and trade union rights in Russia and strengthen the role of trade unions in the society” said Boris Soshenko, RCWU president.