The miseries and problems of Unpaid Workers in Saudi Arabia

To most accurately describe the suffering and pain that the expatriate workers and all workers in general, go through whenever the companies or their employers do not pay them their dues, we will first have to talk about the entire bureaucratic processes that these workers must go through after their dues have not been given to them.  After several failed attempts, they will initially have to go to the Ministry of Labor and file an official complaint against their employer or company. The Ministry of Labor will then ask the workers to continue working on with the same company whereas the Ministry will summon the owners of the company and will go through their financial record to authenticate the claim of the worker.[irp]

When the Ministry of Labor approves that the claim is authentic, the case is then immediately transferred on to the office of labor dispute reconciliation, where a lawsuit is then filed against the owner of the company, and a decision has been issued to force the owner to pay the late salaries to the worker. In the case of refusal to pay the owner of the company, the case is duly transferred to a court, where the owner of the company is then given no more than one month to pay off the dues, after which the legal proceedings against the owner starts. All electronic services of the business owner will be completely shut down until and unless he pays off the entire due salary amount.

We must place ourselves in their feet and imagine the suffering and the pain that these workers usually go through when months have passed by and these people are waiting for the legal procedures to reach some sort of conclusion and for them to simply receive the dues or compensation for the labor and work that they have put in. However, in the meantime, these workers who have no money coming in, do not have a secondary source of income to provide money to their families living back home. These expatriate workers leave the comfort of their homes and the country that they call home to provide a decent and honest living for their families which they usually have transferred home each month.

We must imagine the suffering and pain that these workers must go through whenever the labor offices force them to continue with the work so that the projects do not face delays. These workers are treated no differently to machines by the owners of the company, whose sole focus is the timely completion of the projects.[irp]

We must wonder why in a country which keeps repeating the saying by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) about paying people their dues, even before their sweat dries off. Many people will agree with me on the fact that there needs to be the safeguard for these employees against the employees, as the owner can perhaps be unmoved by not being paid one month but the worker does not have the same resources as the owner.

Source: Saudi Gazette