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CGT condemns highest French honour going to Al Baker

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ITF qatar honeurThe civil aviation branch of the ITF-affiliated federation of transport CGT in France has condemned the award of the French Legion d’Honneur to Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive, for ‘services to aviation’, because of the airline’s discriminatory and unacceptable treatment of its staff.

The CGT’s protest was prompted by information shared by the ITF about the airline’s behaviour towards its workers. 

The ITF has also used Twitter to air its views on the award, focusing on the connection to huge arms sales, with Qatar’s purchase of French fighters and Airbus jets, and urging Barcelona football club to finally take the decision to drop its sponsorship deal with the airline. It also urges people to look at the reality of Qatar Airways’ treatment of staff (seehttp://goo.gl/eM765E).

ITF aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said: “We applaud the fact that the CGT has robustly challenged president Holland over this misuse of France’s highest award.

“It is absolutely outrageous that Al Baker should be given this award when Qatar Airways has an appalling reputation for severe employment practices, even among industry professionals, with allegations including gender discrimination against female cabin crew, harassment and restrictions on visitors and relationships.”

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 (seehttp://goo.gl/Nyh3xa). In June 2014, the ITF and the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) submitted a case against the state of Qatar to the ILO (International Labour Organization) in Geneva, accusing it of allowing Qatar Airways to violate ILO Convention 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation). In addition, the ITUC has led the way in challenging Qatar over its treatment of migrant workers, including ahead of the World Cup (seehttp://bit.ly/1mMW66Z).

Share your views about this award athttps://twitter.com/ITFglobalunion.

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