What moral issues does the case arise?
Qatar Airlines has been cited over the decades as one of the airlines with the strictest rules by International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and has mentioned that the company is a disgrace to the aviation industry for failing to honor labor rights for its female employees. Some of the controversy issues concerning the airline include its prohibition that the female crew should not get married or pregnant during their first five years of marriage. Furthermore, it is the moral rights of human beings to decide when to marry or get married whatsoever, and an employer should not restrict an employee from such acts and instead should assist them. Some of the ethical concerns are that the airlines have strict working conditions, which prohibit the workers' rights and freedom to expression, labor rights among other privileges with threats to job termination and deportation.
The airline is working against the norms of societies where they operate and do not uphold the human rights of the people, which is a disgrace to the international community that the airline should abide by the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). The CSR guidelines restrict the airline to have working conditions that are fair to employees and respect to staff among other moral concerns. Some of the rules of the organization against the moral issues of the society include the fact that there are no fair contractual agreements between the company and the female employees (Booth, 2015). The policy of the firm holds that once the female employs get pregnant or fails to inform the company of her pregnancy, she is likely to lose the job. Therefore, ITF asserts that the airline is assuming the certain rights of workers by the International Labour Organization, which is an ethical concern that should be addressed.
Are the actions of the airlines right or wrong? Is the Airline right or wrong in their argument? Explain. Justify your reason using consequential theory and Moral developmental theory.
The action of the airline to restrict the employees of the organization from enjoying their respective privileges and rights is wrong as there have failed to honor the requirements of ILO, which governs labor rights on the international scale. The policy to restrict the female crew from getting married or pregnant within the first five years of marriage is against their moral conduct, and the organization should instead support them. The ILO labor rights require that the female crew should be offered a fair compensation during pregnancy and should have a maternity leave as it is part of life. Therefore, it is a requirement that pregnant staff should not be on board and should thus be engaged with other responsibility on the ground during that period before they return to the sky and offered other associated privileges as required by the labor employment policy. The argument given by the company should not be accepted entirely as the whole truth and should thus be discarded to some extent. However, the concern of the CEO that the women should not be allowed to be work on board while pregnant should be justified but not at the expense of losing their jobs. The organization has the mandate of protecting their employees from any harm whatsoever and offering the employees safe working conditions is part of their mandate as an airline. Furthermore, it is the term of the management that it maintains a good relationship with the employees and the organization so as to experience good results. This action can only be met if the airline is ready to support a fair and just working condition, which is not subject to threats or deportation (Rabassó et al., 2015).
Citing consequential theory and Kohlberg theory of moral development, it is important to appreciate that at times, the social needs of an organization may work against the needs of an individual and such incidents require the person to make an abstract thinking without considering the repercussion (Barron, 2015). For instance, the female crew need to get married and sire children for their family as it is part of life, although the organization interest is to get the best returns by maximizing profit, it is important that the airline needs to consider the rights of the people. According to Kohl's argument, it is important that the people should involve themselves in activities that they feel is morally right based on their opinion even if it against the conducts of the society and that they can defend themselves based on their principles (Barron, 2015). Getting pregnant while working for the airline is against the policy requirement of the organization but morally, it is accepted as part of life, and the females who get pregnant while at work should not, therefore, be subjected to harsh punishment as for the case of the airline (Kakande, 2015).
Do you believe that the Airlines have the moral duty to prevent its cabin crew to get married or pregnant? Is so, why, under what circumstances? If not why?
No, the airline has no moral rights to prevent the crew from getting pregnant but has a responsibility of protecting their workers safety. Getting pregnant remains to be the moral choice of the people as it concerns their lives and they should, therefore, have the freedom of expressing their concern as when to get married or pregnant. The airline has to follow the guidelines of ILO on employee's rights, which are breached in the organization and should thus consider revising their set policies. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the airline does not abide by the CSR policies, being a multinational organization that employees staff from different parts of the world. The requirement of the CSR is to have a fair understanding of the employees and the employer and that the work of the organization meets the stakeholder expectations, an aspect that is not addressed by the firm (Abeyratne, 2016).
Do you think that the ITF should run a campaign against the Airways? Why?
ITF should consider running a campaign against the airline for different reasons as will be stated below. The organization has the mandate to ensure that adequate policies are drawn and followed by the organization to maintain a cool relationship between employees and the employers and that no party is discriminated to any extent whatsoever. The campaign will save the female crew from the harsh policies that restrict them from getting pregnant or starting a family, which against the labor law. Qatar Airways as a multinational organization employs people from different parts of the world and is likely to experience cultural diversity in its operations. Such campaign allows for strategic management to be applied that allows development of cultural diversity and that a fair working environment is embraced that allows people from different backgrounds while eliminating any discrimination whatsoever (Booth, 2015).
According to you, what is the best solution in this case? Explain.
The sole solution to the above case is for the airline to accept the regulation of ILO, which is an organization that is mandated to protect labor rights on an international scale. It is unethical for the group to restrict the female crew from starting a family or getting pregnant, and is a sign of discrimination to a great extent. Therefore, the introduction of new contracts with better terms for the employees and lifting the ban on pregnancy and marriage restrictions will be the most practical approach to solving the above issue. Furthermore, to develop the organization's reputation in the global market, the organization should ensure that it manages its operation as per the CSR policies being a multinational organization. Hence, reforming its management and the applicable policies will be the most significant aspect that will benefit the airline to regain its competitive position in the international market (Qatar airways, 2015).
Abeyratne, R. R. (2016). Competition and Investment in Air Transport : Legal and Economic Issues. Cham: Springer.
Barron, K. (2015). A Conceptual Analysis of Cognitive Moral Development and Voice Behavior in an Organization. International Journal of Business & Public Administration, 12(2), 55-65.
Booth, R. (2015, June 17). Qatar airways urged to scrap policy allowing it to sack pregnant cabin crew. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/16/qatar-airways-scrap-policy-sack-pregnant-cabin-crew
Kakande, Y. (2015). Slave States : The Practice of Kafala in the Gulf Arab Region. Winchester: Zero Books.
Rabassó, C. A., Briars, M., & Rabassó, J. (2015). Royal Family Business in Qatar and the Emirates through Sports Club Management: "Green Washing" Or A Sustainable Model? The Cases of FC Barcelona and Manchester City. International Journal of Employment Studies, 23(2), 5-25.
Qatar airways relaxes controversial pregnancy and marriage rules (2015, August 26). The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11826281/Qatar-Airways-relaxes-controversial-pregnancy-and-marriage-rules.html