Saudi Binladin Group to pay 10,000 workers in May

Earlier this month, workers at the company set fire to buses after more than 50,000 were laid off

Troubled construction company Saudi Binladin Group will pay the salaries of 10,000 workers in May, the Labour ministry’s director general for its Makkah branch reportedly said.

Last week, workers at the company set fire to buses after more than 50,000 were laid off following months of salary delays.

Read: Saudi workers set fire to buses after ‘50,000 sacked’

Saudi Gazette cited Abdullah Al-Olayan as confirming the payment plans and saying the company had completed formalities to allow more than 15,000 workers to transfer to other national companies.

He added that a travel ban on Saudi Binladin executives had been lifted and it had been reclassified as a construction company, after it was blacklisted from government projects following last September’s crane collapse in Makkah that killed 107 people.

The company is also allowed to renew residence permits to prevent workers’ bank accounts from being frozen, allowing them to transfer to another sponsor. However, it has been prevented from recruiting, issuing visas, changing professions and other services.

Olayan encouraged workers demanding payment of delayed salaries to file complaints at the commission’s office in Jeddah.

Saudi Gazette said the company had paid off 69,000 workers whose salary had been delayed and 34,207 left the kingdom after receiving payment. Some 15,834 had transferred to new sponsors and 7,754 who have been issued final exit visas are staying in the kingdom.

Olayan said companies wishing to recruit Binladin workers would be able to transfer their sponsorship within 24 hours.