Milaha accused of bias against Qataris

March 03, 2014 - 2:19:53 am

DOHA: A former official of Halul Offshore Services company, a subsidiary of Milaha (formerly Qatar Navigation) until their merger, has blasted the mother company and its chairman saying it was giving preference to expatriates and violating the rules on job nationalisation.

In his remarks to a local Arabic daily published yesterday, Khalifa Mohammed Al Hitmi, former general manager of Halul Offshore Services Company, demanded that the government conduct an investigation into “what is going on in Milaha in violation of the rules over the past several years.”

“The company’s condition is deteriorating in terms of protecting the rights of investors. We request immediate intervention by the government. Otherwise it will go from bad to worse,” the daily quoted Al Hitmi as saying.

He said several complaints had been lodged against the company management about administrative irregularities.

He said he had quit two-and-a-half year ago because of such practices. The problem actually started about five years ago when he was an employee at the company, he added. “I was surprised to see several employees appointed directly by the chairman with higher salaries and more powers, compared to their Qatari counterparts,” said Al Hitmi.

He said the company preferred expatriates and appointed them in key positions. The Ministry of Labour took notice of the issue and refused to approve visas for the company for more than two years. He alleged that the human resource manager was appointed by the chairman and was directly reporting to him. This was upsetting the administrative structure. He said over the past six months, three Qatari women employees resigned from the company in protest against such policies and five senior employees lodged complaints against the chairman.

“This is a repetition of what we see in any Qatari shareholding company. Big Qataris are eating small Qataris,” read a comment posted on a popular social networking site.

“What more can we expect from people who are appointed through “Wasta” (recommendation)? We can’t expect any professionalism from such people in dealing with employees,” said another commentator.

“Milaha is going down. Qataris are running away from the company. Share prices have not increased for long,” read another post. The Peninsula

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