Unions to blame for jobless problems – Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO says most western politicians would love to have Qatar’s labour system


Workers rights - there are none anywhere in the Gulf and I have been here over 20 years. You are still merely a 'temporary expatriate worker' whether 'Management' or 'Blue' collar - it does not matter to our hosts!


To Abu Zahra - I wasn't complaining, just stating facts.
There are many people outside these waters (who read these on-line digestives) and even those that live in their 'Dubai Bubble' think they live in Utopia - it is not, I know it, and you know it, but it is, as your comments to me originally intimated, better than where there ARE workers rights and Unions to protect them. God forbid If I have ever to work in Europe again - it's dying a very slow death - most of mainland Europe especially, for this very precise reason

Abu Zahra

Oh my God!!! You lived in the Gulf for 20 years as a temporary worker!! What prevented you from calling it a day and leave the Gulf to countries where unions and rights are protected. Sounds you don't want others to come to Gulf and at the same time have good time here.


When does these geezer ever find time to run an airline, he appears to be constantly blabbing in the media on a subject he either doesn't understand or directly serves his position as a paid servant of the royal family, nominally running their airline. Overexposure in the media will be his downfall, for it is coming. Explaining away the airport delay should occupy every waking moment, not throwing smoke bombs to get the world off the real story.


I lived in GCC countries for five years, including Qatar. I agree with Sam.


I think Mr Al Baker has once again over stepped the mark and shown himself to be ignorant of the facts that exist in favour of an argument that serves his cause. The Labour Law in Qatar does offer a minimal level of protection but the opportunity for the everyday person to seek that protection is removed as the cost of any form of litigation is massive. Furthermore the timescales are so long that residency cancellation and forced exit happen way before even the very first court hearing could ever possibly happen. Police .....don't even go there. Not an option. Qatar can rightly position itself as a growing, economic power but it is based on natural resources and like all other GCC states the exploitation of cheap labour. It can never be seen as a protector of human rights and a defender of the common man. UN based in Doha? Not in a million years!


Qatari, you have more than a chip on your shoulder. Methinks you have the entire quarry!


Its called the United "Nations", just like the "World" Cup. Qatar has the exact right to host any international organization. If it is an organization that includes Qatar then Qatar has the full right of hosting it just like any nation that fulfills the requirements. If you don't like it then call it Human Rights [as if] Nations and host it in your backyard if you want so. Your comment shows how "democratic" you people really are.


what a crock! If it was up to people like Al Baker there would still be children in coal mines and forced labour. To generalise like he has done is absurd in this day and age. It is so apparent that lack of legislation and enforcement is what causes issues such as we have experienced in Bangladesh recently.


That would be exactly what American and European companies would do, history has proven that.

Sharan Burrow

Politicians and economists from every corner of the world agree that the great recession we live in, with its evil twin hallmarks of mass unemployment and rising inequality was caused by greed and speculative capital that started with a banking crisis ? and spread like a contagion.

To try to shift the blame for the financial crisis and unemployment on to unions is a shallow and misguided attempt to rewrite history for personal gain.

I am also saddened to read that Mr Al Baker does not recognise the role that unions play in modern democracies. Where workers have a voice their work is safer, their wages fairer and their societies are more equal.

The voice of workers and their unions is accepted in all international organisations from the UN to the G20. I look forward to the day when Mr Al Baker will join the rest of the international community and accept the role of unions as part of modern day democracies.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation


Al Baker is shifting focus from the disasters at home (4 years delay in the the doha intl airport..) by blaming boeing, airbus, bechtel, unions, etc, etc...

The Freedom Flyer

This guy hasn't got a chip on his shoulder he's got a Quarry . What he should do is try and improve his mediocre airline and get his new airport open , apparantly he's only 4 years behind and 4 billion dollars over budget instead of involving himself in other peoples business and affairs .


Mr.Akber, employees cannot travel outside Qatar without their employers's approval.
what are you talking about?...with the recent discovery of gas, we now know Qatar exists!!
Stop giving media interviews and opinions, it takes a lot of maturity to even understand the issue..
Airport delays, blame it on everyone else...did you climb up the ladder to become a CEO??


i agree with him, for instance Hostess Brands was forced to bankruptcy recently because the union refused the companies offer. does that make sense? isn't a deal worth more than no deal? spains union's believe that and they have been recently accepting deals that if it wasn't for their battered economy they wouldn't have.


Then again, most other countries don't believe in indentured servitude , exit passes for leaving the country, flagrant human rights violations by employers in terms of mistreatment, living conditions and wages.

Unions have their problems- but they exist for a reason- to promote safety, equality and fairness. If unions had been around after the villagio fire- it would never have opened and a second fire taken place- they would have put their foot down and asked for greater safety and accountability that it would never repeat itself.

Al Baker can say these statements because of Qatar's abundant natural resources coupled with a small local population and large dependence on expats, who have none of the rights but all of the punishment as their national counterparts.

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