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Qatar Airways CEO Refutes Union’s Allegations, Calls Sexism Charges ‘Bulls***’


Qatar Airways has been criticized by the International Transport Workers’ Federation for labor conditions, but the carrier’s CEO says the environment is progressive.

Qatar Airways is under scrutiny once again, but not for its role in the ongoing Open Skies dispute. This time, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF) is speaking out against the Arabian carrier with allegations of poor and discriminatory employment conditions. In a press release, the ITWF outlines a dire working environment at the airline.

According to the ITWF, 90 percent of Qatar Airways’ cabin crews are not from Qatar and rely on temporary work visas to live in the country to work. As a result, the union federation claims that employees working for the airline are not afforded the rights of other employees, such as the right to unionize.

In addition, the ITWF is criticizing the airline for the terms of employment for female staff. Quoting what the union says is part of a Qatar Airways employment contract, the ITWF claims women employed by the airline as cabin staff must request approval to be married and notify the airline if they wish to start a family.

“The treatment of workers at Qatar Airways goes further than cultural differences,” Gabriel Mocho, civil aviation secretary for the ITWF, told The Washington Post. “They are the worst for women’s rights among airlines.”

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker responded to the allegations during an appearance on CNN’s Quest Means Business. “This is people creating issues because we don’t have unions, and this is what they don’t like,” said Al Baker. “And we have … inspectors in our country that are looking into this and have already found that all these rumors are unsubstantiated and just created to paint a bad picture on the Gulf carriers.”

[Photo: Qatar Airways]

Comments are Closed.
cochinjew February 24, 2015

I think we should look at the complaints against QR in the context of the economies of the Gulf States. I am fortunate enough to fly long distance in J on QR and I find the service etc superb, something european and us based airlines can only dream about. I have talked to many FAs: young ladies from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. They are happy to work for QR because they covet this job, gives them a reasonable home life in their countries because of scheduling and they are all saving up for marriage and business opportunities at home. Most of them had boyfriends at home and plan to get married when they finished their tours. Also every one said: without QR they couldnt have dreamt of visiting so many places. Look at the labour situation in all of the gulf states and you would find that the airlines come out on top. We cannot judge them by our standards, US based flight attendants are paid much much more than QR but those young ladies are making a fortune compared to what they can earn in their own countries.

cestmoi123 February 23, 2015

Wait, you mean there might be a human rights violation or corruption in Qatar? Seriously? Who would have thought?

nmh1204 February 21, 2015

There was an article a while back about two Swedish women who were badly treated by Qatar Airways, including being almost imprisoned in their appartments by the airline. I'm more inclined to believe that than a lying CEO. Emirates, Etihad treat their crew far better than Qatar, but we're the ones 'painting a bad picture'?