Firms come to aid of stranded Saudi Oger workers
Saudi Oger has been hit hard by a slowdown in the kingdom's construction sector due to low oil prices and state spending cuts
Several companies have expressed their desire to absorb the stranded workers of construction firm, Saudi Oger, whose salaries have been delayed.
Reports have poured in of many firms coming forward to aid the expatriate workers of the distressed Saudi Oger, who currently owes $800m to its staff.
About 50 local companies have expressed desire to hire 2,500 Indian employees of Saudi Oger. Mohammed Nour Rahman Sheikh, consul general at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, said the representatives of these companies are currently negotiating with Saudi Oger to finalise the transfer of these employees.
Sheikh told Arab News: "The companies are conducting personal interviews with the candidates in Riyadh. We are exactly not sure of the exact number of those who wish to have their sponsorships transferred."
Meanwhile, 25 Indian employees, whose salaries have been delayed, left for New Delhi through the Jeddah airport under the sponsorship of the Indian Consulate on 18 August, 2016 (Thursday).
“They are the first batch of affected employees, out of 7,700, to leave the Kingdom officially due to lack of payment of wages and other benefits,” Sheikh said.
On the other hand, several companies have approached the Saudi Ministry of Labor (MOL) offering help to the stranded Filipino workers from Saudi Oger.
MOL will facilitate the matching of the job requirements of these companies with those workers, who want to be transferred.
The Philippine Consulate General said in a statement to Saudi Gazette that the government, through MOL and Immigration (Jawazat), will renew expired residence permits (Iqama), and provide exit visas and plane tickets to the workers who wish to leave.
For workers with unpaid salaries and benefits, they may issue a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of the consulate to process the entitlements due them. Workers who are not affected and do not experience delays in their salaries may continue to work.
Philippine consulate officials led by Consul General Imelda Panolong met with Abdullah Bin Mohammed Alolayan, general director of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Mecca to discuss the cases of stranded Filipino workers in light of the recent directive of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, to hasten the resolution of cases.
Alolayan said: "The MOL has already dispatched teams to the different camps of Saudi Oger to assist the stranded workers of the company. They have been providing food, water and medical assistance to the workers of Saudi Oger in all its camps in Jeddah."
Saudi Oger has been hit hard by a slowdown in the kingdom's construction sector due to low oil prices and state spending cuts, and wage payments to thousands of its workers have been delayed for months.