Pakistan Embassy facilitating expatriates workers in SA

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP): Ambassador of Pakistan and other embassy officials in Saudi Arabia are facilitating a total of 8,520 Pakistani workers of the two companies to get their salaries and other service benefits.

The quarters concerned were vigorously perusing the matter with Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister, Minister of Justice and Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Governor of Eastern Province as well as the management of the companies concerned, said a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Pakistani workers in two companies, M/s Saad Trading and Contracting Company, Al-Khobar (520 workers) and Saudi Oger Limited (8000 workers) are currently facing problems regarding their salaries and end of service benefits.

It said the camps in Riyadh and Jeddah regions were visited by the Community Welfare Attaches.

Mission’s representatives also visited the labour court in Dammam several times and facilitated Pakistani work force in compiling claims for their dues and salaries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved an amount of SAR 100,000 (equivalent to Pak Rs 2,785,000) from PCW&E Fund for providing relief to the workers.

It said the embassy teams had visited all the camps in Dammam and provided food to the workers.

The Saudi King has issued a decree for urgent payment of dues to workers by Saudi Oger Company and resolve the situation.

It said the company will also facilitate those workers who wished to leave and would provide air tickets and renew their resident permits.

Those who wanted to transfer their ‘Iqamas’ would also be facilitated. The officials of both the companies assured that the companies were trying their best to resolve the problem.

There are around 520 workers from M/s. Saad trading and Contracting Company living in three camps namely i) Dessert camp, ii) Al-Azizia camp, and iii) Abqiaq Camp, all located in the eastern region.

Estimated number of affected Pakistanis in the Saudi Oger company is up to 8,000. Around 20% are living on their own while majority of them are living in various camps set up by the company in Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Taif and Makkah regions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also instructed the Pak Embassy to keep pursuing the authorities concerned to ensure food supply and medical facilities to the workers, settle the salaries and outstanding dues as soon as possible, facilitate the workers to travel to their homeland if they opted, besides, facilitating the transfer of work permit of those workers who decided to leave the company.

It said the two companies did not refuse the claims of their employees but they had not been able to pay their dues for several months.

In the given circumstances, most of the workers wanted to leave those companies but only after settling their dues.

In addition, the resident permits of many of the employees had not been renewed by the company.