Production at two
biscuit factories in Jeddah has come to a virtual standstill after 160
workers went on strike because they have not received their salaries
for 13 months.
production manager of Badra factories, has admitted that the strike
has so far caused the company SR800,000 in financial losses.
Speaking to Arab
News, Salama said a market depression, resulting from the closure of
schools during the holidays, had caused the delay in salary payments.
has reached an agreement with the workers to pay their salaries in
monthly installments,” he added.
But the workers
accused the management of issuing dud checks, and Arab News has seen a
copy of a check returned by the bank saying there was insufficient
balance to honor it.
It is also claimed
that the company has refused to renew the iqamas for 120 of its
The workers claim
they are having to endure a number of other problems, including
recurrent power cuts at their accommodation and some parts of the
factory and non-payment of medical expenses.
“We did not put
money in their bank accounts because of a halt in production and
sales,” Salama says.
The company has
recently signed agreements with private clinics to provide health
services to its employees and Salama pointed out that the company was
also making arrangements to renew the iqamas of 120 workers and
improve the electricity supply both at the factories and staff
The workers, on the
other hand, insist that the management have not fulfilled salary
obligations, which are now supervised by a Labor Office panel
following a similar crisis at the factory last year.
The employees then
stopped working when they did not receive their salaries for seven
Abdul Kareem Badra,
supervisor at the factory, said the Saudi authorities had set up a
committee to look into the complaints of workers. The panel,
comprising representatives from the governorate, the Labor Office and
the Passports Department, ruled that the company should pay three
months’ salaries to the workers immediately.
In the Makkah
region, the Foreign Ministry’s office had previously replied to a
complaint from the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah that Egyptian workers
were caught up in labor disputes at the factories.
two factories, owned by the Badra company, produce biscuits and
confectioneries, rusks and chocolates. The company has eight
production units and 16 packing machines in 12 branches across the