Migrant workers building branches of the Guggenheim Museum, the Louvre and the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi continue to face crushing debt, substandard wages and harsh working conditions despite recent efforts to improve treatment, according to a report published this week by Gulf Labor, a coalition of artists and activists.
[...] the researchers found that “underpayment is far and away the primary concern” for the workers themselves. — theartnewspaper.com
This issue of labor rights in the greater gulf region previously on Archinect:An updated look at the conditions for Abu Dhabi's migrant workersBBC journalists arrested for reporting on Qatar's World Cup laborersLabor violations affirmed in latest report of NYU Abu Dhabi constructionWorld Cup...
We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs.
Our arrest was dramatic. — bbc.com
An independent investigation into the construction of New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus has found that despite the school’s best intentions and efforts, about one third of the workforce at the site — roughly 10,000 workers — was not covered by the school’s labor guidelines, and thus faced unfair and exploitative practices [that were reported in previous allegations]. — Hyperallergic
To add to that, construction of the NYUAD main campus is nearly complete and the workers have already moved on to other jobs.Related:Abu Dhabi: Saadiyat Guggenheim StallsHigh Culture and Hard LaborA Memorial for the Workers Dying While Constructing the Qatar World Cup Stadium
Qatari authorities have confirmed they are holding two British researchers who are investigating the 2022 World Cup facilities, which is linked with a scandal over poor working conditions and dozens of deaths of foreign workers.
"All of the actions that have been taken against the two Britons are consistent with principles of human rights enshrined in the constitution," read the statement released by the Qatari QNA news agency on Sunday. — RT
At a hard-hat tour of the Whitney’s Renzo Piano-designed building in downtown Manhattan earlier this month, it was announced that the institution plans to extend a year of museum membership to the project’s construction workers. — hyperallergic.com
If liberal cultural and educational institutions are to operate with any integrity in that environment, they must insist on a change of the rules: abolish the recruitment debt system, pay a living wage, allow workers to change employers at will and legalize the right to collective bargaining. Otherwise, their gulf paymasters will go on cherry-picking from the globalization menu [...] while spurning the social contract that protects basic human rights. — nytimes.com
Today, the Freelancers Union is one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor organizations, with more than 200,000 members, over half of them in New York State. Ms. Horowitz, who has never lacked audacity, says she expects to expand the organization to one million members within three years. For some perspective, the United Automobile Workers union currently has 380,000 members. — New York Times
Perhaps, architect interns, and those contract workers, will look to adding their numbers to this collective, instead of waiting for venal institutions - you know who you are - to make substantive changes to the way that things work.
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