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Unpaid workers fear deportation

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Saudi Gazette | April 19,2017 |By Fatima Muhammad

JEDDAH — A group of unpaid workers fears deportation without getting their salaries and end of service benefits which ranges between SR50,000 and SR100,000. They fear that if they remain illegal in the Kingdom they will be arrested and sent back to their home countries during the amnesty period.

Mohammad Farouq noted that they do not want to leave the Kingdom because they want to follow up their cases but are afraid of violating the regulations which oblige them to leave within less than three months.

“Our company is not reacting and our case is taking very long, we are struggling here.” Farouq added that their accommodation is not properly equipped as there are electricity cuts and also they get food only from friends and relatives, “I have received some money from my wife who had to sell her gold back home, just for me to stay here and follow the case.”

Nisar Khan said they have not been paid since 2015 and added that the workers whose iqamas (residency permits) have expired are facing number of problems since they cannot move freely in the country and they do not have medical insurance cards. In addition they could not find other companies where they can transfer their iqamas and work.

The 50 odd workers in Jeddah have been following their case at Madinah labor office and had a hearing last week which they said have not put an end to their ordeal. The group which includes Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Egyptians has two sections — one that used to work in Yanbu and another which worked in the company’s headquarters in Jeddah.

However, all workers are now living in a company accommodation in Jeddah.

The Passports Department said it is not responsible about these cases. An official at Jeddah Passports Department referred Saudi Gazette to the ministry of labor and social development spokesman who was contacted several times without any response.

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