2014 World Cup: Potential Construction Worker Strike Could Derail Games

By Phil Naegely
Brazil Construction Worker Strike
Joe Camporeale-USA Today Sports

During June and July, the 2014 World Cup is set to take place in Brazil. The host nation has been preparing for this tournament for years, but safety has been concerned throughout the construction process. As a result, World Cup infrastructure construction workers could strike, and Brazil’s chances of hosting the 2014 World Cup could end horribly.

Due to Brazil’s ignorance of ample safety concerns, there have been many construction site deaths. The latest tragic incident occurred Friday when a 55-year-old worker died while disassembling a crane. A day later, the union leader has drawn the line.

“We have to guarantee the workers’ rights and their safety,” union leader Cicero Custodio told Brazilian news media. “Nobody will get in on Monday.”

Cusodio is absolutely right. No one should be forced to work in unsafe conditions, especially when it comes to hosting a great event like the World Cup. Brazilian construction workers should strike until Brazil gets their act together and notice the unsafe working conditions facing their workers.

If this potential strike occurs, the 2014 World Cup could be derailed. The uncompleted stadiums are already past originally set FIFA deadlines, and a strike may prevent them from being finished in time.

Brazil already had enough issues between unhappy citizens and unfinished infrastructure. Now add displeased construction workers and unsafe working conditions to the mix. The host nation has completed a trifecta, but it’s not the kind you want.

FIFA needs to monitor the conditions and potential strike closely. There may not be a 2014 World Cup if Brazil continues their shenanigans. If so, that would be the worst case scenario. However, if Brazil’s incompetence progresses much longer, FIFA should pull the game from Brazil.

Yes, it would be a last-minute decision, but FIFA has made similar decisions before. Likewise, that decision would cause a logistic nightmare, but it would be better than hosting it in a country with unfinished stadiums and other infrastructure issues.

Countries, like the USA and England, among a few others, have existing soccer and tourist-related buildings that could support a last-minute switch of World Cup hosts.

All in all, this potential construction strikes screams “bad news bears” for both Brazil and FIFA. Something needs to be done fast to fix this major dilemma, or else both will be doomed.

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