Trade unions in Qatar

Qatar has been a member of the International Labour Organization since 1972, but has not ratified the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, or the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.

Trade unions were outlawed by the government in 1957 in response to a large number of recurrent strikes being carried out by workers in the Qatar Petroleum Company.[1] In May, 2004, the Emir ruled that workers were allowed to form trade unions and professional associations. Additional reforms saw the right to strike, a ban on employment of youths under 16, an eight-hour working day, and equal labour rights for women legislated as part of a general reform process in Qatar.[2] The International Transport Workers' Federation and the International Trade Union Confederation have alleged that the Qatari government fails to enforce its 2004 labor law on a consistent basis, with the former criticizing Qatar Airways' treatment of its female employees,[3] and the latter challenging Qatar's treatment of migrant workers.[4]


  1. "Labor Market". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  2. ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7.
  3. "Qatar Airways inclusion 'disgraces oneworld alliance'". International Transport Workers' Federation. October 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  4. "Unions put Qatar in the dock at UN body". International Transport Workers' Federation. June 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2015.

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