Saudi Arabia: Saudi Specialist Construction employees stranded with no wages or visas
In March 2020, the Ahmedabad Mirror reported on a case of over 60 migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who were stranded in Saudi Arabia having been "deserted" by their employer, Saudi Specialist Construction Ltd. (registered as A&P in the UAE).
The company had not paid the workers for a year after their abandonment, and for the preceding nine months. The company had also not updated the workers' iqama (work permit) despite this being required annually; the workers were afraid to leave their accommodation for fear of being arrested without the correct visa. They were also struggling to access adequate food.
After the Indian embassy was made aware of the case they co-ordinated with the Labour Ministry in Riyadh; the men started to be repatriated in March 2020.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted Saudi Specialist Construction Ltd. to invite them to respond to the allegations; they did not respond.
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Author: Ahmedabad Mirror (India)
[Of] 20 Gujuratis who were stranded in Riyadh, 18 returned recently. One had returned last year while one has chosen to stay back hoping to win the court case...
61 Indians and several foreign nationals.. were living in deplorable conditions after... Saudi Specialist Construction Limited (SSCL) in Saudi Arabia, ran into problems and the management allegedly deserted the workers…
“We lived in fear of the police… [we] never ventured too far for fear of getting arrested”…
None of the workers had been paid for a year since the company owners abandoned them and for nine months of work before that.