As layoffs reach 77,000, Binladin Group tells workers: 'resign or wait' for overdue salaries

Published May 3rd, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Daily protests over unpaid salaries culminated in seven company buses torched by angry workers on Saturday. (AFP/Mahmoud Mahmoud)
Daily protests over unpaid salaries culminated in seven company buses torched by angry workers on Saturday. (AFP/Mahmoud Mahmoud)

The Saudi Binladin Group in Makkah has asked its Saudi staff, who have not been paid their salaries for about four months, either to resign or wait until the company receives its dues.

The number of foreign workers sacked by the group has risen to 77,000.

There are about 217,000 employees working for the Saudi Binladin Group. Out of which, 200,000 are foreign workers and 17,000 are Saudis working as engineers, administrators and inspectors. Together, they are paid monthly salaries of approximately SR414 million.

Company’s sources said it promised the Saudis who would opt to wait to pay them an additional two-month salary beside their delayed payments. So the Saudis opted to wait and watch.

According to the sources, the company’s dues have reached more than SR4.8 billion which should be paid during 2017 in addition to SR595 million payable in 2018.

Meanwhile, Director of the Labor Ministry’s branch in Makkah Abdullah Al-Olayan said the ministry will make sure that all the expatriate workers who were given final exit visas receive their emoluments before they leave the Kingdom.

He also said the security authorities are currently investigating the incident where angry workers torched seven buses of the company on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Binladin Group said that dismissed workers received “full compensation,” and described the job cuts as a routine measure amid a slowdown in the construction industry.

“Adjusting the size of our manpower is a normal routine, especially whenever projects are completed or near completion,” the largest construction company in Saudi Arabia said in an e-mailed response to questions on Monday. “Most of the released jobs had initially been recruited for contracted projects with specific time frame and deliverables.”

The company, which didn’t disclose the number and nationalities of affected workers, said it will honor its commitments “in case further manpower is released.”

 
 
 

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