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FIFA World Cup 2026: Houston’s bid was won in part because of human and labor rights protections

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Our city’s human and labor rights plan was one of the reasons FIFA chose Houston as the venue.

Local unions, community groups and union federations helped the bid committee to create its plan.

When the 2026 FIFA World Cup comes to town, workers can expect jobs.

The video above is from the Houston Committee’s press conference after the city was selected to host World Cup games.

NRG Park has hosted big events before, but nothing quite like it. Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation executives said they were working to ensure the economic impact of the World Cup was shared fairly and equitably.

“It took a long, long time. That’s why I’m excited for our city,” said Hany Khalil, a Houston native and lifelong soccer fan.

Khalil is also the Executive Director of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation. He said it’s important to have the city, the bid committee and the workers all on the same team during the selection process.

“When we felt that the original version of the plan wasn’t strong enough, we could say, ‘We want it to be stronger. Here are some ideas.’ The bid committee listened to us,” Khalil said.

Their final plan, which gained traction with FIFA, includes safeguards like a $15 minimum wage, targeted hiring for communities struggling with high unemployment, strict health and safety protocols, and requirements for worker-to-worker dispute resolution workers.

“We are pleased to have developed strong labor standards to be implemented with Houston’s bid,” Khalil said. “We think that working with ourselves and the unions and community groups, we will ensure that the bounty is shared with Houston workers as a result of these safeguards.”

Now the real work begins to prepare for the estimated $1.3 billion economic impact. Khalil said the ultimate goal is for FIFA to require the same standards that will be implemented in Houston at all venues selected for the 2026 World Cup.

WATCH MORE: FIFA World Cup 2026: Houston’s real work begins as NRG Stadium gets a chance to host games

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https://abc13.com/2026-fifa-world-cup-houston-host-location-us-cities-hosting-texas-gulf-coast-area-labor-federation/11967160/ FIFA World Cup 2026: Houston’s bid was won in part because of human and labor rights protections

Dais Johnston

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