Labor suit filed against British BAe Systems in Saudi Arabia
Saudi employees of the world’s largest arms manufacturer British Aerospace (BAe) Systems have filed a class action suit against the company. The workers charge BAe with violating local labor laws by presenting them with new contracts that allow the management to unilaterally revise the terms of their employment, including the introduction of salary cuts.
The 500 employees also claim they were threatened with the termination of their existing permanent contracts, if they refused to sign the changed one-year versions. This move also contravenes the kingdom’s Saudization law, which gives Saudi nationals employment priority, as the new contracts do not apply to BAe’s expatriate workforce.
BAe is the prime contractor of the eight billion dollar Al-Yamamah project, Britain's largest ever defense export contract. Signed in 1985, the deal provides for the sale of British aircraft and other systems to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
Established in 1977, BAe Systems is a global defense and aerospace company, with interests also in civilian avionics and engineering. The privately owned company directly employs over 100,000 people, over a third of which reside outside the UK—in the US, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Australia and Canada. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)