Labor leaders outline commitments FIFA, host cities must make to protect workers
Washington, DC—As the United States, Canada, and Mexico prepare to host the 2026 men’s World Cup, the leaders of 33 transportation unions put FIFA, soccer’s governing body, on notice: we will not tolerate anti-worker policies and transportation services that undermine good jobs or equity in our cities.
Every four years, the World Cup, a global soccer competition, draws millions of tourists and fans to its stadiums and host cities, attracts worldwide viewership, and generates billions in revenue for FIFA.
Despite the wealth and global attention generated by the World Cup, FIFA has a shocking record of ignoring the human rights abuses leveraged against the working people who make these events possible. In Russia, workers faced unpaid wages and extremely unsafe working conditions, and more than 6,500 migrant workers in Qatar, host of the 2022 games, have died as a result of unsafe conditions and human trafficking.
“The fact that multiple American cities will host World Cup games should be seen as an honor and an opportunity to showcase everything that is great about this country—including our high standards of living, our strong labor practices, and our vast transportation network,” said TTD President Greg Regan. “Anything less will be an affront to the working Americans who make such events—and their associated profits—possible for the organizations who host them.”
To ensure jobs and transportation services created for the World Cup are sustainable and do not undermine workers, the Executive Committee of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), outlined commitments FIFA and 2026 World Cup Host Cities must adhere to in order to protect the rights, safety, and livelihoods of workers. Those commitments include the assurance that:
- Workers involved in the 2026 World Cup are able to fully and freely exercise their fundamental labor and other human rights;
- Hosting rights will be awarded on the strength of a city’s commitment to sustainable development and living wage jobs associated with the games;
- The movement of millions of tourists and game attendees is not used as an opportunity to undermine workers through partnerships with companies like Uber and Lyft—companies that have purposely misclassified their workers in an effort to deliberately deny drivers their rights to basic collective bargaining;
- Any use or demonstration of automated technologies will take into consideration the impacts implementation may have on safety and jobs;
- Host cities under consideration will hold firm to the commitment to grow sustainable, publicly accessible, and affordable transportation services for their residents and tourists alike, and that those services will provide good jobs, ensure workers are correctly classified as employees, and that the adoption of any new technologies will not result in job displacement or the erosion of safety.