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Saudi Arabia: Workers set fire to buses after 50,000 fired and salaries not paid

Workers at one of Saudi Arabia’s largest employers set fire to buses on Saturday amid protests at being laid off and told to leave the kingdom without being paid for several months work.

The protesting workers are among 50,000 foreign labourers who have been sacked by the private company as the kingdom’s revenues have declined due to low oil prices, which have forced government spending cuts.

Binladin had given the fired foreign workers a permanent exit visa to leave the country but many of them do not want to leave because they claim not to have been paid properly.

Some of the workers had not been paid in at least four months, and that they are now holding daily protests in front of the company’s offices.

The company, which was established in 1931 by the father of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest employers and it has been responsible for large construction projects including building towers in the capital Riyadh, and universities and airports in the western port city of Jeddah.

But the company has reportedly been suffering from debts of up to $30bn and it has been engaged in a series of pay disputes with workers, which in March led to protests outside their offices in Riyadh.

Source: submitted

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