Angry workers burn Saudi Oger vehicles

ANGER: Saudi Oger vehicles are seen burning outside the branch office of the company in Jeddah. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 09 June 2016
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Angry workers burn Saudi Oger vehicles

JEDDAH: For the second time in just a few months, 150 expatriate workers of a major contracting company gathered in front of their employer’s office in Jeddah to protest against the delay in their salaries and set fire to a number of company vehicles.
The workers of Saudi Oger company burned a number of buses and heavy vehicles belonging to the company in front of the firm's branch office in Jeddah on Monday. The police prevented the crowd from indulging in further violence and Civil Defense teams extinguished the fires. The workers later dispersed.
“Some 150 expatriate workers gathered in front of Saudi Oger’s branch office in Jeddah at 9 p.m. on Monday. The workers set fire to the company’s vehicles. They were protesting against nonpayment of salaries for six months,” Jeddah police spokesman Atti Al-Qurashi said.
Lately, construction workers have found a new way to express their anger over delayed salaries. Several company buses of the Saudi Binladin Group were previously burned in Makkah.
Gulf-based construction firms have been among the hardest-hit by lower oil prices. Several construction companies suffer from a low number of projects and high costs of their workers’ salaries. Consequently, many construction companies have not been able to pay their workers salaries.
Meanwhile, the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry has transferred workers’ complaints to a special court. Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, director of the media center at the ministry’s branch in Makkah region, said the Labor Office has stopped all services to these companies as result of a violation of the Wage Protection System.
In March 2016, the Labor Ministry took several measures to resolve the issue of some workers’ complaints of delayed salaries. The ministry previously confirmed that it stopped providing its services, including social security and passport affairs, to Saudi Oger Ltd. as part of its punitive steps. The ministry had also formed a committee to address the issues raised by Saudi Oger employees. The Riyadh governorate was expected to coordinate with the committee to resolve the matter.


Over 190 diplomats from 90 countries visit Saudi Arabia's KAUST to meet global talent

Updated 10 min 21 sec ago
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Over 190 diplomats from 90 countries visit Saudi Arabia's KAUST to meet global talent

JEDDAH: Over 190 diplomatic representatives from around 90 countries visited King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) recently, to observe how international study programs have benefited students from across the world. The university, based in Thuwal, also hosted representatives from the UN, the World Health Organization and the EU.
KAUST’s president, Dr. Tony Chan, welcomed the visit as a sign of the university’s growing significance as an academic and research institution on the global stage.
“The diplomatic delegation’s visit to KAUST focused on facilitating cultural cooperation to attract international students and researchers,” he said. “Hosting ambassadors and consuls general at KAUST is a reflection of the global talent we recruit to our university.”
During their visit, diplomats met with Chan, faculty members and students from their home countries, and discussed their experiences of KAUST, what they felt they had learned while studying in Saudi Arabia, and more generally the benefits of studying abroad.
The visitors were given a tour of the campus, and learned about the latest research being conducted at KAUST. They were also shown examples of the entrepreneurship initiatives supported by the university, including successful startup companies launched by former students and academic staff.
Established in 2009, KAUST is a graduate-level research university on the shores of the Red Sea, dedicated to advancing scientific and technological progress through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation.