Economists call for 40-hour work week

Updated 28 June 2013
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Economists call for 40-hour work week

Economists have criticized the Shoura Council’s decision to postpone the approval of a proposed labor law, which calls for a two-day weekend and 40 hours of work per week.
According to Salim Ba’ajaja, an economist, the ministry is hesitant to implement the law due to the opposition of local businessmen who have cited grave concerns that a two-day weekend would lead to a rise in prices. In addition, businessmen have said that some 600,000 Saudi workers, employed in the last 18 months would face losing their jobs as a result of the implementation of such a decision.
The economist noted that the council’s approval to reduce weekly hours from 48 to 45 has kept working hours unchanged, as without the mechanism of enforcement, private sector establishments will force employees to work eight hours, six days a week, or enforce a nine-hour shift for five days a week.
“It is necessary to implement a 40-hour week; western countries apply 35-hour week,” Ba’ajaja added.
Meanwhile, economist Abdallah Al Malgouth said the labor market “is not governed by the Ministry of Labor’s rules.”
He pointed out that certain retail stores make their employees work for more than 12 hours a day and at times without weekly days off. In such work environments, an employee would be given a half-a-day every 15 days, he said, adding that reducing working hours will increase productivity, and improve the psychological states of employees.


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 21 June 2018
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means they cannot qualify for the knockout stages.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.