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Saudi Binladin group decides to pay delayed salaries

Abdullah Al Olayan, director of the branch of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Makkah, said: "The company has completed the formalities to transfer residence permits of more than 15,000 workers allowing them to join other companies

The Saudi Binladin Group has decided to to pay delayed salaries to 10,000 workers. The decision has come in the wake of protests by the employees after massive layoffs by the company.

According to Saudi Gazette, Abdullah Al Olayan, director of the branch of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Makkah, said: “The company has completed the formalities to transfer residence permits of more than 15,000 workers allowing them to join other companies. Even though the travel ban on its officials has been lifted, the computer services are still blocked till all workers are paid their delayed salaries.”

He added that “Recruitment services, the issuance of work visas, change of professions and other services are still on hold.”

He also asked the staff whose salaries have been delayed, to file complaints at the commission’s office on Hira Street in Al Marwah district in Jeddah.

According to the latest statistics posted by Saudi Gazette, “the company has paid off 69,000 workers. Of whom 34,207 have left the Kingdom after receiving their dues. Some 15,834 workers have transferred their iqamas to other sponsors while 7,754, who have been issued final exit visas, are still staying in the Kingdom.”

Citing an anonymous company official, a Saudi daily reoprted the firm had laid off 77,000 foreign workers.

In addition, 12,000 out of the 17,000 Saudis working for the firm as engineers, administrators and inspectors were also expected to be let go, the source said.

Another Arabic daily reported that 50,000 of the group’s staff were refusing to leave the country while their salaries remained unpaid after more than four months.

An Arab News report blamed “unpaid workers” for torching several Binladin Group buses in the city of Mecca over the weekend.

After decades of thriving on lucrative government contracts, the company faced unprecedented scrutiny after one of its cranes working on a major expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah toppled in September.

At least 109 people including foreign pilgrims died, leading the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, to exclude the firm from new public contracts.

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