A step forward: Qatar to launch pay reform for migrant workers

Published February 19th, 2015 - 10:11 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Qatar said Thursday it will introduce a major labour law reform to ensure thousands of workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup are paid on time, after complaints by rights groups.

The changes by the future hosts of football’s biggest tournament, approved by Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, will see workers get paid at least once a month and in some cases every fortnight.

The move could head off some criticism of Qatar which has come under mounting international pressure to improve conditions for migrant labourers working on projects for the World Cup.

The announcement comes before the international spotlight is bound to fall on Qatar again as FIFA officials visit Doha early next week to finalise a date for the controversial tournament.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands, forecast a profit below market estimates last week, citing the strengthening of dollar that lowers revenue from outside the United States.

Marriott reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue and forecast worldwide systemwide constant dollar RevPAR to rise 5 to 7 per cent in the first quarter.

“Based on signings to date, we expect special corporate room rates across all our managed North American hotels will increase 5 to 6 per cent in 2015,” Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said.

Marriott shares were up 3.5 per cent in trading after the bell.

Leased properties

Hyatt Hotels Corp reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Wednesday.

Hilton CFO said the impact from the dollar would be the hardest in the company’s leased business. A significant portion of leased properties are outside the United States.

The owned and leased business brought in about 40 per cent of Hilton’s 2014 revenue.

The dollar is expected to keep rising after gaining nearly 13 per cent against a basket of major currencies in 2014.

Hilton’s owned hotels business was “pretty reliant” on New York even after selling the Waldorf Astoria New York, Macquarie Research analyst Chad Beynon said.

The company, which also owns the Conrad brand, gets about three-quarters of its revenue from the United States.

The company said on Wednesday it expected an adjusted profit of 10-12 cents per share for the first quarter and 78-83 cents per share for the full year.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 15 cents per share for the first quarter and 85 cents for the year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hilton’s quarterly adjusted profit narrowly missed market expectations despite a 7 per cent rise in revenue.

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