Foreign builders say they have not been paid for months and face possible imprisonment because company has not renewed permits
Workers at a construction company in Saudi Arabia have issued an urgent plea for help, saying they are trapped and facing starvation because their employer is refusing to pay salaries or grant them permission to leave the country.
Foreign staff at building firm United Seemac told MEE the company's 500-plus employees have not been paid in months and that both the Saudi government and their embassies have done little to solve their increasingly desperate crisis.
A database compiled by a Pakistani employee and seen by MEE revealed that workers have not been paid for a minimum of five months, while some have gone 19 months without receiving wages.
One Pakistani worker, who has not been paid in 10 months, said no one is helping them because they do not work for one of the kingdom’s larger companies.
“Nobody knows the situation for employees working at small companies,” said Mohammed Barr, who has been working as an engineer at the company for two years.
“All the attention is on the big companies – it’s easy to ignore us because we are not so many people."