Qatar Airways Cup: global union spotlights aviation workers’ plight

June 4, 2015

The International Transport Workers’ Federation – a global union body representing millions of transport workers worldwide – is joining the Scottish Football Supporters Association and PlayFairQatar in calling on Scotland fans to support migrant workers who are building Qatar’s 2022 World Cup in advance of Scotland’s friendly with the Gulf state on June 5th.

The inaugural Qatar Airways Cup will take place at Easter Road in Edinburgh on 5th June.

Match sponsors Qatar Airways – who have said this week they will sponsor the FIFA2022 World Cup despite corruption scandals, are dishing out discrimination and oppression to their migrant-worker employees, the ITF has said.

“The airline is part of the same system. Women are discriminated against – if they get pregnant, their contracts are ended. The workers – many of whom are supporting extended families back home – tell us they are under constant surveillance and are sacked for the slightest infringement of strict rules which extend into many areas of their off-duty lives,” said ITF Civil Aviation Secretary Gabriel Mocho.

“Qatar is not a brand to associate with luxury – it’s one to associate with exploitation,” he added; “that’s what’s behind Qatar Airways’ shiny image.”

Since Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup its serious abuse of migrant construction workers has been well documented. Hundreds of young migrant workers from Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan die every year in its construction sector, many from unknown circumstances or cardiac arrest and hundreds more will die if Qatar doesn’t play fair and make serious reforms.

The ITF is part of the global trade union movement and is supporting the ITUC Playfair Qatar campaign. For more information go to

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