Staff told to quit or wait until company receives dues – report
The number of layoffs at Saudi Binladin Group, one of the world’s largest construction firms, has risen to 77,000 according to local press reports.
The builder is grappling with a severe slowdown in the construction industry and late payments as budgets tighten due to the oil-price crash.
It emerged last week that 50,000 foreign workers have been issued exit visas but an additional 50% have also been sacked, according to the Saudi Gazette.
Saudi Binladin staff in Mecca, who have allegedly not been paid their salaries for about four months, were told to either to resign or wait until the company receives its dues, the newspaper reported.
The total number of reported layoffs – 77,000 – represents more than a third of the company’s 217,000-strong workforce.
The layoffs come amid heavy government spending cuts and a row over alleged unpaid salaries.
Reports detail worker sit-ins at Saudi Binladin offices in Jeddah, while seven buses were on Saturday set ablaze in Mecca by angry expatriate workers, according to press reports.
The Saudi Labour Minister Mufarrej Al-Haqbani promised to ensure the Binladin Group keeps a promise to resolve wage issues.
The ministry’s “top priority” is to ensure employees get their salaries under the kingdom’s wage protection system, Saudi Gazette reported.
“Once we notice a company delaying the salaries we will… send our inspectors,” Haqbani reportedly said.