Workers' rights groups launched a worldwide campaign yesterday to promote "decent work" in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup, said leaders of the International Trade Union Confederation, currently in Nairobi, Kenya, for the World Social Forum.
The campaign would focus on the construction sector in the build up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the confederation said.
A memorandum was issued to the organisers of the World Cup, international soccer federation Fifa, calling for workers' rights to be respected in all industries associated with the world's most popular game.
The campaign aims to mobilise football fans worldwide to put pressure on Fifa, the South African government and companies contracted to build and renovate the 10 stadiums required for the staging of the cup.
"Workers should be guaranteed a decent wage, adequate social protection and standards consistent with decent working conditions," said the confederation.
"For South Africa, with a 46percent unemployment rate, the world cup would create more than 200000 jobs that could help alleviate poverty," said Trenton Elsley of the Labour Research Service.
But though South African authorities have pledged to meet Fifa deadlines, Fifa president Sepp Blatter is concerned that "picks and shovels" have yet to swing into action.
Now the confederation wants the whistle blown on contractors who cut corners to get the job done on time and within budget.
"At the moment, we want to pressure Fifa and the South African government via the media," said a confederation spokesman.
If their concerns went unheeded, "other means of pressure" would be rolled out, he said. - Sapa-AFP