Builders Unions Applaud FIFA Show Of Solidarity
Members of South Africa’s building trade unions handed FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter a memorandum at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 11 March. The trade unionists expressed their appreciation of FIFA’s show of solidarity towards them, encouraging them to continue their efforts to ensure that equitable working conditions were in force while the infrastructure for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa was being built. The FIFA President expressed concern that the builders and other workers involved in constructing the World Cup projects were all treated fairly. “Although FIFA is not the employer or the builder responsible for constructing the football stadiums, it is well aware of its social responsibility in connection with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and is also keeping an eye on it,” explained Blatter, who has visited several football stadiums in South Africa to see the situation there for himself.
The trade unionists themselves had asked to pay a visit to the Home of FIFA. Paul Rechsteiner, President of the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions, and Vasco Pedrina, National Secretary of the Unia Swiss Trade Union and Vice-President of the International Building and Timber Federation, accompanied Crosby Moni, Vice-President of South Africa’s biggest 280,000-strong builders’ union, as well as other trade unionists to the meeting. They thanked FIFA for its willingness to open its doors and lend an ear to their concerns, not only at FIFA headquarters in Zurich but also through the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa. At the meeting, Moni presented the “Fair Games – Fair Play: humane working conditions” campaign: “The workers, especially those labouring on the construction sites, need a wage that will enable them to live, enjoy a safe and healthy workplace and social benefits as well. We have no doubt that FIFA can help significantly to reach this goal.”