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

Binladin Group employees also say they have not been paid for six months



Workers at Saudi construction firm Binladin Group have set fire to a fleet of company buses in protest over thousands of sackings and months of not having their salaries paid.

The employees set nine buses ablaze in Makkah on Saturday night – the latest in a line of protests and demonstrations in the region – in light of news reported by Saudi Al Watan paper that the company had laid of 50,000 foreign workers and issued them exit visas.

This comes on top of allegations by some employees in the Holy City and in Jeddah that they have not received their wages for six months.

Major Nayef Al Sharif, spokesman for the Civil Defense in Makkah, said that the blaze was extinguished without any injuries being reported.

The construction giant has endured several difficult months on the business front, racking up an estimated $30bn of debt due to falling oil prices and being suspended by the Saudi government from taking on further contracts after a crane collapse at Makkah’s Masjid al-Haram in September 2015 killed 111 people.

The group has not issued a statement about the recent unrest or the reported lay-offs.