Trade union chiefs refute criticisms by Qatar Air CEO


I totally agree with Akbar Al Baker. Trade unions were created with splendid ideas then became political entities and take sides regardless of logics. Economies are mostly made by investors, entrepreneurs risking their moneys. Of course there must be entities defending certain basic rights, but these shouldn't favor anarchy which is what happens often in the West. I am a businessman and for these reasons I have decided to relocate myself and my businesses outside Europe and today I am utmost convinced I made the right decision. The best part of this is that all my Western employees and associates think the same.


@ Qatari is always there to defend the indefensible when it comes to Qatar. No doubt driving about in ac luxury while the workers toil. Does it matter that they are not paid, live in squalid conditions or ripped off. Nope - that's their embassies problem.
People come to work in good faith, they built your palaces, villas and shiny buildings and Qatar does have a duty of care to ensure all are treated fairly. But that may just cost.

Jibber Jabber

Qatari's know the cost of everything and the value of nothing . They want a hand in everyones business but no responibility or accountability for their own actions .

It's a local mindset here , don't worry though ,we're only here fpr the money , there's nothing else that's worth having.

Born to be rich and bad

What you are saying is part of human behaviour Ethical sociaty and fairness towards the needing and poorer people. but what the hek, that doesn't make us qataris rich. we want people to be nice and fair to us we don't want to be fair and nice to others. we have the money so we have the power.


In my specific case, my employer has not paid me for several months. I have left the country and I am attempting to recover my money with no success.
I have called hundreds of times the HR department with not one single person replying. I have emailed them and with the same results.
I have tried to call the Qatari Labor department hundreds of times with not one single person answering the phone and emails bounced back or not replied to.
I have contacted the Qatari Consulate in the city I live in now and they discharged any responsibility or will to help me.
I have contacted the Human rights Commission in Qatar (, the phone number displayed in their website (+974 4408844) does NOT belong to them and the emails are bounced back with error. No one can help me in Qatar and no one cares.
Is this the Qatar that the Qataris think they have or the Qatar they want to show to the world?
That is why AlAbaker does not want unions in Qatar, so he can control his staff.


My comment illustrates how Qatar operates. My dear friend if I was an exception, I wouldn't use my experience to illustrate the trend. In qatar government or even institutions like human rights commission, nobody cares about anything. They are simply not motivated or used to work. They are used to be served!
ICAO in qatar will be another disaster as the human rights commission and many other organizations in qatar. Go there and see by yourself!


I am sure your comment has nothing to do with Qatar?s offer to move the UN?s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from Montreal to Doha.

another guest

Dear Qatari,
embassies are not there to protect individual rights, mainly exist to protect the interests of huge multinational companies and their trade deals. Did Governments advise Nepalise workers that their 450 qr wages per month wouldn't buy them a packet of cigarettes, a soft drink and a sharwarma sandwich per day, when they hoped to be sending money home to support the family and pay off the debt that they incurred to get their dream Gulf job? Of course not.
What happens when the promised contract is replaced by another when they land. What happens to those poor people left hanging around the arrivals terminal when no one turns up to meet them.
If these things happen in Qatar doesn't Qatar have a responsibility? The Qatari Government recognises this in having a strong labour law, which will be improved, when will people like you stand back and walk in the exploites shoes for a minute!


Embassies are not there to protect individual rights ! What planet do you come from ?

Cigarettes, soft drink and a Shwarma ? Do you mean Consumer Price Index ? Why do I feel like I'm arguing with a 12 year old ?


No one is asking for undeserved "rights", most people recognise, as Islamic Law does, that people must be fairly treated. If this does not happen what can the individual do, complain to the sponsor and be deported as a troublemaker? Does this happen, I'm sure it does in some undefined number of cases? If Unions exist one has a powerful friend who can disinterestedly present your case. I've never had the opportunity to belong to a Union but would appreciate that help if I was in dispute with my employer.
I'm sure the thousands of people deported every year would appreciate such disinterested help also. No Qatari need fear such "rights" if they act as employers and business partners behave fairly as internationally agreed conventions and Islamic laws require. Those who don't cannot hope to hide behind the Sponsorship system forever. I meet many people in Qatar who have lived here for decades without major problems, however one case of abuse can destroy reputations.


?The UN cannot bend to the power of the Riyal at a time when ordinary Qataris? fights for rights are met with massive repression. It?s doubly outrageous when thousands of staff at Qatar Airways are denied the fundamental right to union membership enshrined by the UN,? ITF president Paddy Crumlin said in a statement.

So Crumlin, please tell me what does the Qataris really want ? You seen to know more about us the us. I bet you won't find 1% of the Qataris who agree on what you say.


Qatari, I suggest you check the websites of the US Department of State and the EU. They both clearly state that their mission is not to provide legal assistance except on extraordinary circumstances, that is, citizens being arrested. In this case yes, they have a right to receive visits from their consulate to ensure that they are not mistreated or discriminated. The laws of the land still applies in any case.

Quite a different situation from what we are discussing here (contract enforcement) where the laws of the land apply (ie Qatar's labour law) and the Embassy has no right to intervene, besides "complaining" in the most egregious abuses. A complain with no legal force, mind you

Your "logic" is to put it mildly, baffling: Essentially claiming that people who are weak can be legally abused. Most people espousing those views would be too ashamed of them

But I have to say that your honesty is refreshing, and hopefully will prove useful to people considering relocating here


@Telcoguy, this is not the case with European and American embassies, they have lawyers to protect the individual's rights. What I am saying is that if a country lacks the power to protect their own individuals abroad then they shouldn't send them from the start, OR they should deal with whatever the outcome is. The hosting country has its own laws that every guest should respect, they are here for the contract not to change the laws whenever they wish.


@Qatari,this may surprise you but actually no, neither Embassies nor consulates are supposed to protect individual rights or act as lawyers in any contractual issue (that is what we are essentially discussing here) that falls under the jurisdiction of the host country. If they did that may trigger an international incident actually

You do not need to take my word for this, you can check the Vienna convention or if you find it heavy you can check the website of the Department of State, for example, to see what are the consular duties

I find amusing that for someone who has been so keen on claiming "this is the way things are done here, take it or leave" you show so much disregard for the concept of national sovereignty in this thread


@Billy, Don't they have embassies that protect their rights ? Didn't their government tell them about the rules of Qatar before coming here ? Why did they agree on the terms on their contracts before coming, and the way you say it seems like 100% of the workers are treated badly. The lack of responsibility from their countries should not give Qatar more responsibility on those people who decide to come here. The minimum wage is an agreement made by THEIR government and Qatar. You should know who to blame.


Qatari, I am sure you are correct. There will not be one Qatari national that will agree that their country stifles human rights and does not deserve even the discussion on relocating the ICAO HQ to Doha. But it is not you who are being abused on a daily basis. It is not you who are having your passports illegally held by employers. It is not you who are forced to work under inhuman conditions. It is not you who are paid tiny wages and often not paid at all for months on end. It is not you who are forced to live in squalid overcrowded conditions. No..... such treatment you reserve for the expats that are actually building your country for you and it is they who need the protection and care of the Trade Unions....but that will never happen as that would mean Qatari's like you admitting to decades of systematic abuse.

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