Labourers working on the Zenit football stadium in St Petersburg have said they may begin legal action in response to poor working conditions and unpaid wages.
According to The Guardian newspaper 50 people working to build the 2018 World Cup ground are threatening to sue two subcontractors for unpaid wages amounting to $215,000.
I haven’t gotten my wages for the third month in a row. We’re taking out credit from relatives and friends in St Petersburg to send home money for our family and kids– Zenit stadium worker
The paper interviewed 15 workers, six of whom said they had not been paid for at least a month.
A 47-year-old man from Uzbekistan said: "Everyone has hold-ups now. I haven’t gotten my wages for the third month in a row. We’re taking out credit from relatives and friends in St Petersburg to send home money for our family and kids."
Labourers have also expressed dissatisfaction at inadequate working conditions and safety on site, in particular the lack of fire safety measures, personal protective equipment and proper documentation.
Some 2,000 people are working on the project, typically in 10-15 hour shifts with only Sundays off. Most earn $1.66 an hour.
Five workers have been killed in accidents at the arena since 2011, according to The Guardian.
Transstroy, the stadium’s general contractor, said its employees had been paid in full and that the construction site was safe. However, it did not mention those employed by the project’s many subcontractors.
Workers who divulge information about substandard pay or conditions can be fired without compensation.
A bill introduced into the Russian Duma in May would allow convicts to build World Cup facilities.