After two weeks of competition, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games came to an end today with another giant fireworks display and numerous performers celebrating Russia.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, also praised Russia, which spent a record $51 billion on the Winter Games, noted RT.com.
“Let’s ask those who criticized the Games if they are ready to change their opinion,” Bach said today. “I spent four nights in different Olympic villages and had an opportunity to learn the opinions of those sportsmen who are important to me. None of the athletes uttered a word of complaint to me.”
However, Bach didn't mention the thousands of foreign workers who were lured to Sochi with promises of 2,000 Euro ($2,700) per month for building the infrastructure of Sochi's Winter Olympics (video below).
According to Mother Jones, thousands of these migrant workers were only given little pay for basic living expenses, forced to live in a dormitory with pay-to-use showers and had to share four toilets with 200 workers.
According to Human Rights Watch, rather than pay these workers, their Russian employers had them arrested for being illegal immigrants, detained by the police and then flown back to their foreign homes, noted Reuters.
With only six months left until the games, thousands of foreign workers were rounded up and deported without pay.
"The employers realize the workers' vulnerability," Semyon Simonov, a Sochi-based labor lawyer trying to get the workers paid, told Mother Jones. "They don't have paperwork, so they can report them to the police, who could arrest them and kick them out."
"It is clear," added Simonov, "That this is just a method of swindling the person."
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The IOC was aware of this travesty as far back as October 2013 when Human Rights Watch sent the IOC a list of Sochi workers who claimed their employers had cheated them of wages.
An IOC spokesman said it had "a longstanding commitment to follow-up" on the reported instances of non-payment.
Eventually, after investigations by Russian authorities into more than 500 companies, 13 of the companies paid $8.34 million to more than 6000 ex-workers, but thousands of foreign workers without contracts did not get a dime.