Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, has been called out for its labor practices. Human rights and labor organizations have condemned the treatment of migrant workers and have called the small gulf nation a modern slave state. While Qatar has been singled out for its labor practices, forced labor arrangements, whether formally sanctioned or informally implemented, are widespread internationally and are profoundly compatible with modern capitalist production. This paper draws on a qualitative examine of the construction industry in Qatar to examine the ways in which compulsion is used in global production systems to meet production challenges. While critiques of the labor system in Qatar have emphasized working conditions and wages, this paper focuses instead on worker skill, an aspect of production that is often represented as a neutral input in the form of human capital. I argue that labor arrangements based on compulsion enable firms to erase the skill contribution of workers even as they rely on their skill to meet technical challenges and highly variable production targets. This systemic skill erasure forecloses all negotiations between labor and management over how skill is used and compensated, thus preserving maximum production and price flexibility for firms. The paper concludes with a call for a renewed exploration of the politics and power relations of production systems, and of the specific ways in which compulsion is deployed as a deliberate production strategy.