Friday, March 7, 2014

Freight and Passenger Air Carrier Comes in For Harsh Criticism on International Women's Day

State Airline is 'Misogynistic and Autocratic'
Shipping News Feature

QATAR – The state airline has come in for extreme criticism for the way it treats female employees. Qatar Airways (QR) will be subjected to a barrage of protests tomorrow March 8 (International Women’s Day) for its misogynistic policies. The passenger and air freight carrier stands accused by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) of having totally unacceptable policies specifically aimed at persecuting women who work at the company.

According to the ITF, QR is an autocratic employer where any infringement of its draconian rules can lead to termination, deportation and even imprisonment. Anyone who becomes pregnant is liable to be dismissed straight away and staff are not allowed to marry for five years, and even after that time have to ask permission to wed. They are kept under constant strict surveillance (even in their private time) and are subject to inspections, curfews and arbitrary dismissal whilst all personnel are subjected to lifelong gagging clauses.

In October 2013 the ITF wrote a piece detailing some of the, to Western eyes, unreasonable demands placed on employees of the fairer sex and backed this up with an exposé by Sweden’s Expressen newspaper which makes particularly grim reading. The ITF’s president, Paddy Crumlin commented:

“To work for Qatar Airways is to always be looking over your shoulder, and that’s particularly true for women workers, it’s a climate of fear. The airline’s unwholesome reputation is more than deserved. International Women’s Day gives a focus for something that must be a mission all year round, to bring wholesale change to this notorious employer.”