About the campaign
ITF’s International Women’s Day is an annual event; it’s objective is to help secure women transport workers’ rights, and raise their visibility and participation in the union movement.
It’s an opportunity for unions all over the world - men and women - to stand together, support their female members and address the issues facing women transport industry workers in every sector.
This year, alongside the other activities taking place, we called on affiliates to stand in solidarity with Qatar Airways workers.
Why Qatar Airways (QR)?
1. Women must seek employer permission before marrying
You read that right. Women at QR are not free to marry as they choose, but must ask their employer. If the woman has been working for five years or fewer, she cannot marry. Full stop.
2. Pregnant workers get sacked
There is no maternity leave at Qatar Airways – pregnancy means job loss. Failing to notify your employer, or concealing your pregnancy, is a breach of contract – which also means job loss. Contracts state that the company can terminate employment from the date of notification of pregnancy.
3. Women cannot be seen in public with male friends
If you’re not using Qatar Airways transport to get to work, you cannot be picked up or dropped off by a man who isn’t your father, brother or husband.
4. Sociable? You’ll get the sack
We’ve received reports of Qatar Airways women workers being fired for posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.
Women workers deserve better. We all know that strong unions need women – and we believe that strong companies respect women’s rights.
Unions worldwide took action
ITF unions sent protest letters and emails to Qatar Airways, and activities were organised all over the world to raise awareness of the issues faced by Qatar workers.
The countries involved were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Liberia, Mexico, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, USA and Zambia.
Activities included training days for women workers, film screenings to raise awareness, exhibitions, marches and protests, interviews, panel discussions, conferences, and the release of reports looking at women’s role in the workplace.