Monday, November 26, 2012

New rule....Phase-II ?

My earlier (click here) seems to have touched a raw nerve among expats working in Saudi Arabia. There has been an outpouring of emotion from the numerous mails I received and considering the sensitivity of where we live in, I decided not to publish them. However, things seem to be happening the way it was predicted. 

After the initial protests by businessmen, what I had feared most unfortunately became true. Companies stopped renewing the iqamas of their expat workers. So, overnight thousands of workers would now become illegal aliens in the kingdom for residing without a valid iqama and hence, could be imprisoned for no fault of theirs, just because their sponsors did not renew their iqamas. Sanitory workers in Mecca went on strike as the company which employed them simply could not afford to pay SR2400 per worker per year more as penalty. As protests as well as garbage started mounting, Mecca municipality agreed to renew the iqamas of the workers. These poor guys get paid only SR250 per month and live in the most pitiable conditions you could ever imagine in the kingdom of humanity. The company which hired them says they could not find Saudis to work as janitors and sanitary workers. After all, who wants to do the dirty job of clearing garbage, something below the dignity, when there are poor expatriates to do it? Here is one job which would never be Saudized !

Okay, so the news is that once Mecca municipality agreed to renew the iqamas, the strike was called off. Take a look at this link. Remember, the municipality had to intervene not because they wanted to help the poor expat workers, not because they wanted to improve their living conditions, but because citizens started protesting as garbage started to pile up. This is just the tip of the iceberg. What about other company workers who are not involved in sanitary work? We get a hint that the rule would be relaxed / revoked / diluted as the labor minister says that it is up to the cabinet to revoke it and that he would "inform the higher authorities of the effect of implementing the decision". See this.

So, as expected we can hope for a rollback of this rule very soon (as usual)!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear,
Is there any website link where we can check if we should pay extra SR.2400 because i said people hearing we can check online.

Pls. pass on the info. if you know.

Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

The SR2400 penalty is on the sponsor, not on you. However, some sponsors have already passed it on indirectly to their employees by not renewing their iqamas, delaying their salaries, etc. For the moment, there is nothing you can or should do on this. Wait and see, it may probably be diluted very soon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expatguru,
I have heard that saudi govt. is going to implement new rule if you want to stay more in home country you need to pay more for exit/entry, like for 1 month it will be 200SR and for 2 months 400SR.
Pls. check if you have any info. regarding this.

All new rules for expats only to give more tensions...

Thanks

Expatguru said...

Unfortunately in the kingdom, rumours tend to become rules. Until now, nothing official has come about. I will certainly keep you updated in this blog.

Anonymous said...

There a new rule which Ministry of Labor will be implementing by the end of next year for all the companies processing employee salaries through bank accounts, SARIE Transfer, Payroll cards & pre-paid cards. The employer is required to furnish the breakup of salary details to ministry of Labor along with the total salary. The breakup required is as follows: (Basic+Housing+Allowances)-Deductions. And they have clearly instructed employers not pay the salary through cash/draft.
This the next step in progress in regularizing the salaries of expatriates.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the info. I would never believe anything unless it is really implemented. Who knows how many times this rule would be changed?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the info. I would never believe anything unless it is really implemented. Who knows how many times this rule would be changed?

Anonymous said...

MAZCO – Dammam

This is one of the worst company of Saudi Arabia who are exploiting the employees by delaying their salaries, vacation amount and ESB. There is no fixed date of paying salary to the employees since the company started. There is no responsible person in this company who can hear the pleas of its employees. The staff does not give proper response and information on hearing the problem of the employees. The owners are not bothered also for their employees. They are rotating the payroll money of their employees received from their clients for their personal benefit. They just make false promises to the employees. The employees of this company are suffering a lot which affect their families also due to not able to send the money for their needs.

Please beware to join this company.