Qatar Air says “female workers need permission to get married”

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By Zimbabwe Investor on September 25, 2013. No Comments

Qatar Airways has accused of forcing its female workers to seek permission from the company when they decide to get married.

Qatar Airways is touted as one of the best run airlines

In a report released by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) on Tuesday, the airline was found to also mandate that women tell a supervisor if they become pregnant.

The airline then reserves the right to fire them upon the discovery, according to the ITF report, alleging the violation of the basic labor rights of Qatar Airway’s 28,000 employees.

Qatar Airways is one the best financed, managed and luxurious airlines in the world. The airline since its launch in 1997 has grown tremendously and stands as one of the biggest players in the international airspace.

Qatar has won a multitude of accolades including :Voted Airline of the Year 2011 and in 2012 in the prestigious Skytrax industry audit, Qatar Airways has won the confidence of the travelling public.

Qatar Airways CEO once remarked,”Qatar Airways has achieved much  averaging 30% growth year to year and flying one of the most modern fleet of almost 120 aircraft in the skies today. Our global network currently spans key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, operating to and from our hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar”

In a mission statement Qatar Airways always aim to excel in everything they do and to be considered best in the world is a tremendous achievement in their young history. To the shock of millions of travelers,this airline treats women like less humans. It is their official policy that female employees are required to gain permission from the airline to get married or change their marital status as part of their contract of employment, it was reported on Tuesday. Contracts also state female employees must also inform the company if they become pregnant, which may result in the termination of their employment.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents around 4.5 million transport workers in 150 countries, released extracts of what it claimed are part of the standard terms and conditions of a standard hiring contract for thousands of Qatar Airways female workers.

It reads: “You are required to obtain prior permission from the company, in case you wish to change your marital status and get married. And: The employee shall notify the employer in case of pregnancy from the date of her knowledge of its occurrence.The employer shall have the right to terminate the contract of employment from the date of notification of the pregnancy. Failure of employee to notify the employer or the concealment of the occurrence shall be considered a breach of contract.”

The ITF is currently in Canada to lobby the ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) to take action on what it termed “flagrant abuses of aviation workers’ labour rights” by carriers based in Qatar and the UAE but i think there is need for an audit for all Gulf Airlines. With all due respect to their culture, there is need for reform in women’s rights

Attending the ICAO’s 38th General Assembly in Montreal, which runs from September 24 to October 4, the ITF claimed the 70,000 or more workers who work for the Gulf’s three largest carriers “do not enjoy the basic labour rights (including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining) which apply in their home countries and in virtually all the nations whose airlines compete with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.”

“The fact is that these companies are making a fortune from the efforts of hardworking staff who, undefended, can be discharged and deported on a whim,” ITF president Paddy Crumlin said.

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow argued that  nations and companies cannot continue to turn a blind eye to abuses of workers in Gulf Region. International pressure is growing, from the ILO to the UN Special rapporteur on migrant rights the spotlight is on companies in Qatar to take responsibility for workers’ rights and follow global rules.

Earlier this year, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker addressed the issues the ongoing criticisms of the Gulf state’s labour policies by international trade union bodies and presented a shocking attitude.

Speaking to Arabian Business he attacked unions for causing jobless problem in the western world and accused unions of making companies and institutions noncompetitive and bringing them to a position of not being efficient.

Based on Qatar Airways CEO’s attitude to the issue of reforming unfair employee rights, it looks like Women’s Rights campaigners may have to take Qatar Airways to European Court of Human Rights to force Qatar Airways and other Gulf Airlines to reform. Baker even boasted that politicians in most of the countries in the western world would love to have Qatar Airways’ labour system.He encouraged them to have a system where the workers have rights through the law while they do not have rights through striking and undermining successful institutions that provide jobs to their knees.

Recently,International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents around 4.5 million transport workers in 150 countries dismissed Qatar’s offer to move the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from Montreal to Doha on the basis that workers do not have the right to strike there.