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28 Jan 2022

Maya Gebeily, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Pilots say Qatar Airways monitors and muzzles staff online

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Staff at Qatar Airways who vent work worries online say the state carrier is retaliating with legal threats and job cuts - part of a growing corporate trend to monitor and muzzle employees who dare speak out.

Advocates say the carrier's attempts to silence employees and delete critical posts - be it in private or public forums - contravenes staff rights to privacy and free expression...

The Thomson Reuters Foundation spoke to three current or former staff of the state-run airline who believe they were directly punished for voicing their worries online...

The airline served a subpoena to Google in a bid to discover whose Gmail addresses lay behind the critical accounts [on PPRUNE]...

Some QA staff accuse the airline of terminating their contracts because they were managing group chats on Facebook and WhatsApp that included criticism of the company...

As the company ramped up layoffs in 2020's travel slump, the chat increasingly turned to work woes and rising job cuts, with one former employee especially vociferous about her sacking.