Representatives from FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC), the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), and the Russian Construction Workers Union (RBWU) paid a visit to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadium in St Petersburg on 5 February. Officials from Inzhtransstroy-SPB, the main contracting company responsible for the stadium’s construction, were also present.
The inspection was part of the implementation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy and was the first one of its kind. The delegation examined the construction site at the stadium and conducted interviews with members of the management team, as well as health and safety managers from the main contractor and other key contracting companies. They also visited worker areas and spoke to groups of construction workers.
“In September 2015, the LOC and FIFA initiated a comprehensive project to introduce monitoring systems of working conditions at all 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Visits like the one we have had in St Petersburg will become regular and take place also at other stadiums hosting the tournament”, announced the LOC's Head of Sustainability Milana Verkhunova.
“We are delighted that independent experts have been able to take part as well. The FIFA World Cup is an opportunity to spread best practices and standards of health and safety in Russian construction”, she added.
“As part of FIFA and LOC’s current work to further develop its human rights approach, this joint inspection with BWI and the RBWU in St Petersburg marks the start of what we believe will become a fruitful collaboration to ensure that labour rights of construction workers are being respected at all FIFA World Cup stadiums in Russia”, said FIFA’s Head of Sustainability, Federico Addiechi.
“We have visited the site and raised concerns and calls for improvement to ensure decent and safe working conditions. However, we believe more systematic and regular inspections are necessary to avoid future accidents. In this, our affiliate, Russian Construction and Building Materials Workers Trade Union, has presented a proposal for a Memorandum of Understanding between trade union and the LOC, and trade union is waiting for the response,” said Anna Andreeva, BWI regional policy and campaign officer.
During the visit, the technical experts assessed health and safety risks for workers involved in the stadium's construction in St Petersburg and monitored how rules and regulations were being observed. Furthermore, the experts discussed plans to draw up recommendations to mitigate those risks in accordance with Russian law and international conventions ratified by the Russian Federation.