2010 LOC warned against cheap labour
Organisers of the 2010 Soccer World Cup have been warned not to exploit high levels of unemployment in South Africa and build stadiums 'on the cheap'.
News agency AFP reports that the leaders of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), currently in Kenya for the annual World Social Forum, want the whistle blown on contractors who cut corners to get the job done on time and within budget.
"Football is the world's favourite game. There are millions of people who watch an event such as the World Cup but what the people have no idea about is how the stadiums are constructed," said Andrea Maksimovic, the international co-ordinator of a body which groups 306 unions from around the world.
He added: "Forty-six per cent of the people in South Africa have no work. South Africa expects the World Cup will give work to 300,000 people so it's an important asset."
ITUC spokesperson Mathieu Debroux continued: "At the moment, we want to put pressure on FIFA and the South African government via the media, to make supporters throughout the world aware of the issue."
However if their concerns went unheeded, "other means of pressure", such as a mass petition, would be rolled out, he said.
As well as ensuring that the construction workers are paid a decent wage, the ITUC wants assurances about on-site safety conditions, as well as provisions for anyone injured in a work accident.
Maksimovic said the federation was hoping for a more co-operative relationship with the South African government - a tripartite alliance which includes the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) - than it received ahead of the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
"The IOC (International Olympic Committee) didn't play the game," she recalled.
Last month, authorities in Beijing - the venue for the 2008 Olympics - ordered developers of all new building projects to provide accident insurance to construction workers after it was reported that nearly 700,000 people were not covered.