Parat urges Norway to end Qatar Airways’ operations

November 3, 2014

ITF affiliate Parat in Norway has urged the Norwegian authorities to revoke Qatar Airways’ right to operate flights from the country because the company “systematically undermines the rights of its

Parat has long highlighted poor working conditions in Qatar Airways.

Its claims have been backed by a new book by Norwegian journalist Pål Vegard Hagesæther, which reveals strict rules governing the private lives of Qatar Airways cabin crews.

Fritt fall (Freefall) details rights violations including female flight attendants being fired if they become pregnant and employees not being allowed to join a trade union.

All employees have to live in the company’s apartments and are made to be home between 4am and 7am, even if they’re not scheduled to work the next day; and there are restrictions on when and which visitors are allowed.

Employees have to sign three-year contracts and are not allowed to marry, have children or divorce during that period.

Parat vice president Vegard Einan said: “Qatar Airways’ practices are against ILO conventions and are in breach of the free trade agreement between Norway and the Gulf Co-operation Council.They threaten fair competition in civil aviation, which also depends on decent working conditions.

“Our demands for Qatar Airways to change must not be mistaken as protectionism to keep competitors out of the European and Norwegian markets. Instead, fair competition is the door to our market. The revocation of the airline’s right to operate routes in Norway would send a clear signal to other operators that we will not accept such abuses of labour rights.”

In June, the ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) submitted to the International Labour Organization (ILO) a case against Qatar for allowing Qatar Airways to violate ILO Convention 111, which covers discrimination in the workplace, to which it is a signatory.

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