Workers at a construction company in Saudi Arabia have issued an urgent plea for help, saying they are trapped and facing starvation because their employer is refusing to pay salaries or grant them permission to leave the country.
Foreign staff at building firm United Seemac told MEE the company’s 500-plus employees have not been paid in months and that both the Saudi government and their embassies have done little to solve their increasingly desperate crisis.
A database compiled by a Pakistani employee and seen by MEE revealed that workers have not been paid for a minimum of five months, while some have gone 19 months without receiving wages.
One Pakistani worker, who has not been paid in 10 months, said no one is helping them because they do not work for one of the kingdom’s larger companies. […]
Saudi Arabia is in financial crisis because of a collapse in oil revenues that account for 80 percent of government income. In 2015 the government posted a record $98bn budget deficit, causing many of the kingdom’s construction projects to be suspended or cancelled.