Social dialogue

Qatar's leading transport company holds first joint committee elections to promote workplace cooperation

Mowasalat, Qatar’s leading public transport provider with over 6,000 employees, organized its first ever Joint Committee election in a bid to continuously improve relations between workers and management.

Feature | Doha, Qatar | 15 July 2021
Alzawahir Abdalla, Taxi Driver and elected member of Mowasalat's Joint Committee
Alzawahir has been a taxi driver in Qatar for over five years. Driven by the desire to help his colleagues and to further improve dialogue between management and employees, he decided to run for worker representative.

The results of the elections were announced in mid-June. Alzawahir, originally from Tanzania, along with nine other workers from different departments, will represent Mowasalat’s six-thousand employees in the newly formed company’s Joint Committee.

The commitment of public clients to social dialogue is growing in Qatar. Mowasalat, Qatar’s leading public transport provider, is the most recent public client to establish Joint Committees.

Joint Committees bring together equal number of management and elected worker representatives to discuss a range of workplace issues at the enterprise level, such as occupational safety and health, organization of work, productivity and social services. Workers’ representatives first discuss the issues among their peers before meetings with management, and then report what has been discussed at Joint Committee meetings back to the workforce.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is working closely with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) to support the establishment and operation of Joint Committees in Qatar.

Mowasalat’s journey to establishing their Joint Committee

Mowasalat’s commitment to promoting dialogue and listening to workers’ voice started back in September 2019, when the company established a Welfare Committee. Workers’ representatives – elected on the basis of their nationality - would voice the needs of Mowasalat’s diverse workforce.

In March 2020, building on this existing structure and following a training on the roles and responsibilities of committee members – Mowasalat decided to embark on a journey to form its first ever labour-management Joint Committee.

Khalid Kafoud, Chairman of Mowasalat's Joint Committee

In June 2021, and almost two years into the life of the existing Welfare Committee, Mowasalat held its Joint Committee elections.

Alzawahir Abdalla, Taxi Driver and elected member of Mowasalat's Joint Committee

“The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), in collaboration with ADLSA and the ILO, has been supporting Mowasalat and its workers in establishing the Joint Committee since the very beginning of the process. We have provided training opportunities and support to design and supervise the Joint Committee elections. The ITF is committed to continue this cooperation and to work together in this historical moment for migrant workers in Qatar”, Nuria Belenguer, Community Liaison Officer, ITF-Qatar.

What was expected to be a typical election, with ballot boxes and workers lining up to cast their vote, was instead moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On 18 June 2021 the results of the elections were out

Rawlings Mensah Turkson, Data Entry Clerk and elected member of Mowasalat's Joint Committee

Balapuwaduge Mendis, Instructor of Karwa Driving School and elected member of Mowasalat's Joint Committee

“Qatar’s transport sector is expected to grow exponentially as the country is set to host mega sport events. We are pleased to see the national public transport provider’s commitment to strengthening social dialogue and building a solid foundation for this growing sector”, said Ali Al Khalaf, ADLSA.

“We congratulate Mowasalat for their commitment to enhancing workplace cooperation and providing a platform for their employees to weigh in on decisions within the enterprise. We hope to see more public clients in Qatar follow suit and establish Joint Committees”, Marie-José Tayah, ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar.