A union representing diplomatic staff abroad today accused the Portuguese government of keeping these workers in Qatar, like other migrant workers who have gained much attention over the 2022 World Cup.
“This is unacceptable for a country like Portugal, which is a member of the European Union,” said the Deputy Secretary General of the Union of Consular Staff, Consular Affairs and Central Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (STCDE).
Between December 5, 2022 and January 12, 2023, Alexandre Vieira spoke about the strike ordered by this union to foreign embassies, embassies, diplomatic missions and cultural centers in Portugal.
Three staff at the Portuguese Embassy in Qatar have been temporarily deployed to support the community traveling there to watch the 2022 World Cup soccer matches, and two more from Denmark and Moscow.
According to Alexandre Vieira, the strike will cripple these services and the Portuguese who need some help cannot count on it.
Unionists recalled that these workers had no reason to participate in the strike because they did not have social security or even health insurance.
“What is in the international media, even in Portuguese, that there are workers from Sri Lanka and India, who are being exploited, they don’t have health insurance, they don’t have the right to retire. , three of them don’t have health insurance or pension insurance,” he said.
And he added: “Qatar doesn’t have social security. In Qatar, like the Emirates and other rich countries, social security is private. If you need health, you have to take health insurance, if you want to retire, you have to take pension insurance, if you want accident insurance You should take accident insurance. If you don’t have the money to pay, you will die”.
The situation of Portuguese MNE workers in Qatar is “similar” to the situation of migrant workers without rights in this country, which has prompted many complaints and accusations against the Qatari government, he continued.
“The only problem is that they work for the Portuguese government, which has to pay [direitos] As a member of the European Union and it is a normal thing”, he added.
Alexandre Vieira told of a colleague who had to leave the country because she wanted to get pregnant and didn’t have maternity insurance, or the means to pay for help at a private hospital, ending up in Beijing and then London. .
“In Qatar, health and social security are private”, he said, adding: “If you come to the hospital sick, your leg is broken, you fall, if you don’t have insurance they send you, go and die somewhere else.”