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6 May 2016

Saudi Binladin Group cuts thousands of jobs, prompting protests and government response

English and Arabic media reports have been following the Saudi Binladin Group's (SBG) financial difficulties, caused by cuts in government spending due to falling oil prices and the Group's suspension from new state contracts after a crane accident killed 107 people in Mecca last September. SBG announced that it would be cutting between 50,000 and 77,000 jobs, including those of Saudi nationals. Nine company buses were set on fire as anger over sackings and delayed and unpaid wages prompted worker protests.

The government has responded by saying that all workers will receive their wages this month or next, and by lifting the bidding ban on SBG to help ease the financial pressure on the company and its lenders.

We attempted to invite Saudi Binladin and Saad Trading and Constracting, a second company alleged to have left hundreds of workers stranded without pay, but both had gone into liquidation and we were unable to do so. Track the story below.