World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Unions put Qatar in the dock at UN body

5 June 2014

Unions put Qatar in the dock at UN body

Global union organisations the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) today submitted a case against the state of Qatar to the ILO (International Labour Organization) in Geneva. The case – delivered this morning to the United Nations organisation – accuses Qatar of allowing its state-owned airline, Qatar Airways, to violate ILO Convention 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation), which Qatar signed as long ago as 1976.

The ITF and ITUC accuse Qatar Airways (QR) of workplace sex discrimination and restricting women’s rights, and allege that the Qatari government is in breach of its international obligations by turning a blind eye to these offences. The two organisations have provided evidence that female cabin crew members face gender-based discrimination such as a contractual marriage bar for the first five years of service and a provision allowing the company to terminate employment upon a crew member (compulsorily) reporting a pregnancy. They argue that the government of Qatar also fails to enforce the legal protections that currently do exist in its constitution, Law 14 of 2004 (the Labour Law) and Law 11 of 2004 (the Penal Code).

The ITF has repeatedly exposed discriminatory and wholly unacceptable practices – including curfews, surveillance and arbitrary dismissal – at the airline, where workers repeatedly refer to a climate of fear (see http://bit.ly/1jXWWAv). Meanwhile the ITUC has led the way in its challenges to the state of Qatar over its treatment of migrant workers in Qatar, including ahead of the World Cup (see http://bit.ly/1mMW66Z)

ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton said: “Qatar Airways already has an unenviable reputation for severe employment practices, even among industry professionals, with allegations including harassment and restrictions on visitors and relationships. Its gender discrimination against female cabin crew is equally unacceptable.”

He continued: “We urge the ILO to act on our representation and make the recommendations necessary to bring the Qatar government into compliance with its international commitments as soon as possible and end the disgraceful discriminatory measures against women workers employed by its national carrier.”

Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary, said: “The corrupt kafala system used in Qatar, including by Qatar Airways, virtually enslaves women and controls their every movement. They live under strict curfews and the smallest details of their lives are controlled by their employers. They have no right to join a union to have a collective voice and there appear to be no effective grievance procedures concerning sexual harassment. They are being denied their rights and dignity.”

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: "Qatar is on trial – over its national airline, over kafala, over the World Cup. The truth will out, and we're going to continue making sure it does. Change has to happen, and until it does the rulers of Qatar and Qatar Airways can be sure that we won't go away."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news