Joint Committees strengthened through major training initiative

Intensive capacity building benefits worker and management Committee representatives alike

Press release | 24 June 2020
Some of the participants taking part in the online graduation ceremony
The operation and effectiveness of enterprise level Joint Committees will be enhanced following the completion of an intensive online training course for committee members.

In a ceremony held 22 June 2020, almost 160 management and worker representatives of Joint Committees were recognized for successfully completing the course. Presiding over the ceremony were Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly, the Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) and Houtan Homayounpour the Head of the ILO Project Office in Qatar.

Representatives from Qatar Foundation, Mowasalat, and WISA Manpower, three public clients that fully support the implementation of Joint Committees with their employees and with their main contractors were also present.

Speaking at the virtual graduation Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly, said, “The State of Qatar is fully committed to seeing Joint Committees established and operational. I congratulate all those who successfully took part in this important training despite the restrictions caused by COVID-19.”

Joint Committees bring together equal numbers of management and elected worker representatives from each company to discuss a range of workplace issues. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is working closely with ADLSA to support the establishment and operation of Joint Committees in Qatar.

“Effective Joint Committees can make a major contribution to the improvement of labour-management relations and by taking part in this training, participants will be able to put to use new skills that will benefit the entire organisation,” said Houtan Homayounpour.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the training took place online over a period of six weeks from the beginning of May to mid-June 2020. It saw participants take part in a series of interactive sessions designed to enhance their capacity to participate in Joint Committee discussions on the organization of work, production and productivity, health and safety, social services, training programmes and workplace diversity and inclusion.

Taking part in the course was Shahid Noor Khan, a Joint Committee management member from QAFAM, who said. “The training was very helpful. We covered many areas including how Joint Committees can support concrete COVID-19 mitigation measures at the workplace, in the accommodation and during transportation. Participants are now much more aware of how Joint Committees work and their power. This will help build their effectiveness and benefit everybody.”

Stanley Mwewe Roberts, a Joint Committee worker representative from Mowasalat highlighted the importance of communication. “We got lots of information about how

companies should relate to workers and workers to management. We need to be open, communicate – We are in this together. Previously I would hesitate to open up and discuss workplace issues but after this training I am now far more confident,” he said.

Alice Rupia, a Joint Committee management member from Qatar Manpower Solutions Co. (WISA), also found the training helpful, and said “It is so much clearer what is expected from both management and worker representatives of Joint Committees. As a result of the training we now have a clear routine established for running Joint Committees meetings which will help us so much.”

Meanwhile, Mina Subedi, a Joint Committee worker representative from QAFAM highlighted how the training would benefit worker-management relations, “I learned many things about how Joint Committees can help handle workplace grievances. This will be really helpful in our work,” she said.

There are currently 20 Joint Committees established through elections in companies and organizations in Qatar across five sectors; hospitality, maintenance and construction, landscaping, transport and manufacturing. Representatives of many of these participated in the training including Mowasalat, WISA, EMCO, QAFAM, IFS, Al-Mukhtar, G4S, JBK Controls, Al-Balagh, Doha Maintenance, Compass Qatar, Siemens, Engie Cofely Mannai, Petroserv, SAIC, Nakheel Landscape, AG Middle East, QICC Nexans.

The training was delivered with the support of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC), Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI), UNI-Global, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).