In a letter to the Qatari authorities, UNI Global Union demanded this week the “immediate and unconditional release” of Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan security guard working in Qatar’s capital Doha, who was detained two weeks ago following the publication of a blogpost where he reported on the plight of migrant workers in Qatar.
“We believe that Mr. Bidali is imprisoned for his documentation of inhumane housing and working conditions, such as crowding ten people into a room, grueling schedules, and cuts to income,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union in the letter.
UNI is currently promoting workplace education on the issues facing the growing private security industry in Qatar, including the promotion of networks of security workers and worker committees, which advise, register and process grievances through the Qatari authorities.
For over three years, UNI Global Union has been part of bi-annual meetings between Global Union Federations, the ILO and the Qatari Ministry of Labour (ADLSA), allowing UNI to participate and help guide and monitor the progress of the labour reforms.
As champions and promoters of social dialogue, UNI will continue to support the process of labour reforms, to the benefit of migrant workers in the state of Qatar.
“History proves that freedom of expression, assembly, and association have been key elements to workers’ improving their jobs and their lives as well as for countries to become more prosperous and freer. We hope we can agree that workers in Qatar deserve a move in this direction,” the letter concludes.