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The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) will push ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) in Canada today for action on flagrant abuses of aviation workers’ labour rights by airlines based in Qatar and the UAE.

The ITF states that Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are among the fastest growing airlines in the world. They employ more than 70,000 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff between them. More than 90 percent of their employees are non-UAE/Qatari nationals – all of whom have to rely on obtaining temporary work visas under a sponsorship programme. Although these foreign workers are vital to the success of the airlines, they do not enjoy the basic labour rights (including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining) which apply in their home countries and in virtually all the nations whose airlines compete with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.