ITF slams Qatar Airways’ oneworld alliance membership

October 25, 2013

The ITF this week branded Qatar Airways’ (QA) imminent membership of prestigious world aviation grouping the oneworld alliance “a disgrace”. The ITF, which exposed QA’s treatment of women workers last month, is leading protests against QA’s ascension to the alliance next Wednesday 30th October. The oneworld alliance currently includes global giants like British Airways and American Airlines.

In the draconian regulations set out in their contracts, women workers at QA are prevented from marrying, while pregnancy means dismissal. There are also restrictions on where workers can eat or drink, what transport they can use, and who they can be seen in public with. Breaking regulations or conditions is likely to result in sacking and deportation: a real worry for the 90 percent of QA’s workforce who aren’t Qatari nationals.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: “The labour relations at Qatar Airways are a running sore on the face of the global aviation industry. Autocratic, overbearing and near-dictatorial, this airline gains control and competitive advantage by ignoring International Labour Organization conventions on worker rights. Its treatment of its employees borders on the appalling.

“In its current form it is not a fit partner for the members of the oneworld alliance. Its inclusion is a disgrace. If it is going to be accepted as a world class airline then it has to make fundamental changes throughout its entire structure. Those changes have to start at the top, with the replacement of its CEO, Akbar Al-Bakr, who is responsible for much of the disastrous relations with its own employees – and then be carried right through Qatari society, as the recent shocking revelations about the treatment of construction workers there demands.”

ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) general secretary Sharan Burrow stated: “The exposure of the abuses of workers in Qatar has put nations and companies on notice. International pressure is growing, and companies which fail to take responsibility for workers’ rights and follow global rules risk reputational damage.”

Read the press release in full >> to find out more about QA worker abuses and why using Facebook could get you fired from QA.

Check out ITUC's page on Qatar at

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