A victory for women, workers and labour

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Labour victories are few and far enough between that when they come along, they’re worth savouring. Today, we’re delighted to report that crew of Qatar Airways will no longer be fired for being pregnant — thanks to a global campaign partnered by the ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation.

Last month, we wrote about the ITF’s critical victory in winning a ruling that Qatar’s repressive regime was guilty of allowing its state-owned airline to institutionalize discrimination by firing pregnant cabin crew — a victory that mirrored a similar long, hard struggle to protect pregnant seafarers aboard flag-of-convenience ships.

In Canada, we were part of the ITF’s campaign to win just conditions for the air crew.

It was no that secret Qatar Airways was the name sponsor on the team shirts for Barcelona FC, the Spanish football giant. Barcelona had always styled itself a socially progressive team, to contrast itself with RealMadrid, which was the Franco fascist favourite. And Barca was on a North American pre-season tour  this summer — and playing the LA Galaxy. The match had a massive media profile, so we took to social media, linking to stories asking Barcelona to review its sponsorship with Qatar. This kept us busy for nearly two weeks, raising the profile of our campaign in North America and probably causing some concern in the LA Galaxy marketing department.

Well, the shame and pressure from all sides worked.

And it ought to provide everyone around the world who works so hard, sometimes at great cost, a moment of inspiration. Your work and solidarity makes a difference in the lives of workers.

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