Thursday 31 March 2016, 10:44

Decent working conditions key to stadium construction in Russia

Representatives from the Host Cities, stadium authorities, trade unions and experts attending a workshop organised by FIFA and the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) discussed and exchanged views on the working conditions and health and safety at the construction sites of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ stadiums.

The main aim of the meeting in Moscow, held on 30 March with the participation of the International Labour Organization, was to provide information on the system organised by FIFA and the LOC of third-party monitoring of labour conditions and health and safety for construction workers building the World Cup stadiums, as well as to ensure construction companies and contractors are aware of all relevant legislation and requirements. The monitoring system is set to be launched in April 2016.

Best practices, methods and tools for decent working conditions and health and safety were also examined, taking into account both international and Russian experience in the construction industry.

Between September and October 2015, the LOC conducted a self-assessment survey among the companies building and renovating Russia 2018 stadiums that addressed labour conditions and health and safety. The next step was the visit to inspect the stadium in Saint Petersburg, which took place on 5 February 2016 alongside representatives from the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Russian Building Workers Union (RBWU).

“With this event, we were able to lay the foundations for the joint work that lies ahead of us," said the LOC’s Head of Sustainability, Milana Verkhunova. "There will certainly be challenges, given the complexity of the operations, the risks inherent in any construction project, the fixed timelines and the number of construction companies involved. Nevertheless, given that all stakeholders share the common goal of creating decent working conditions for the construction of the FIFA World Cup stadiums, I am confident that our new third-party monitoring system will be successful and will help to address any non-compliance, to further minimise risks and to prevent accidents."

“This is the first time that a workshop has been held on this topic and with this breadth of stakeholder representation in the lead up to a FIFA World Cup," said Madleen Noreisch, Deputy Head of FIFA Sustainability. "It was great to be part of a gathering of so many experts, who brought different perspectives on the issues, and to see the collaborative approach adopted by the various entities. This was only the first of a series of such workshops that will take place as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy and I am already certain that this will prove to be a best practice to be replicated for future FIFA World Cups."

“It is very important for the ILO that everyone involved in the process of building and renovating the Russia 2018 stadiums is fully aware of the concept of decent work conditions and pays close attention to these issues in their operations”, said Sergeyus Glovackas, Workers activities Senior Specialist from the ILO Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “We hope that, thanks to this, the World Cup in Russia will proceed at the very highest level.”

Also present at the workshop were representatives from the Russian Federal Service for Labour and Employment, regional administrations, the BWI, the RBWU, construction companies and contractors for Russia 2018 stadiums, as well as specialists from the construction industry and health and safety experts.