Cypriot construction firm allegedly failed to pay wages of thousands of employees in Saudi Arabia and Oman

J&P Overseas has reportedly failed to pay over 6,000 workers in Saudi Arabia and Oman several months' worth of salaries, after being liquidated. J&P Overseas has also allegedly failed to renew its employees' work permits, leaving them unable to travel abroad and vulnerable to being detained by the local authorities. Some workers claim to suffer from life-threatening illnesses, but cannot seek treatment due to expired health insurance. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited J&P Group to provide a response to these allegations, it did not respond.

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Company non-response
19 November 2018

J&P Group did not respond

19 November 2018

J&P third-country workers in Saudi Arabia issue new plea for help

Author: Evie Andreou, Cyprus Mail

Around 5,000 third-country nationals employed by construction giant J&P Overseas in projects in Saudi Arabia said they are now living in camps like prisoners as their work permits have expired and they are unable to move freely in the country. In another letter to the shareholders of the company that is now in liquidation, workers from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Egypt, said they have yet to see any action from the Joannou and Paraskevaides families, “with regard to our grievances.” The employees had sent another letter earlier in the month... They said they haven’t been paid for six months and they are owed approximately 125 to 150 million Saudi riyals (approximately €35m)... Their health insurance policy has also expired... and they are unable to get any health treatment or medicines from the hospitals. “Some of our colleagues are ailing with life-threatening health issues,” they said, adding that they are unable to travel as their work permit is expired and have no money to buy travel tickets. The company’s local management is unable to provide air ticket and other expenses...

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8 November 2018

J&P workers in Oman say their situation is desperate

Author: George Psyllides, Cyprus Mail

J&P Overseas workers in Oman have appealed to the owners for their salaries, saying people could not pay for emergency medical procedures and others risked losing their homes because they were unable to pay their mortgages. In a letter sent earlier this month, workers at the construction company’s Oman branch said they have not been paid for three months and appealed to the Joannou and Paraskevaides families to put their differences aside and resolve the matter. “There are no words that can describe the scale of this human crisis suffered by the people who worked hard for the name of the company and have stood by and continue to stand by its side,” the letter said. An Indian man “is desperate” because he cannot pay for his wife to give birth, they said, while a second Indian national was begging for $500 to pay for his mother’s emergency surgery... The Oman branch employs 1,360 people whom also faced additional problems because the money the company paid for their food was meant to run out on Wednesday. The same went for the money that paid for the fuel to run the generators that provided power to the workers’ quarters and the site’s offices...

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