Sponsors pay SR400,000 arrears to housemaids

Updated 21 December 2014
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Sponsors pay SR400,000 arrears to housemaids

Saudi sponsors in the capital last month paid SR400,000 in money owed to housemaids being held at the government’s detention centers, Arab News has learned.
Now that they have received their money, they can be sent home. They were handed over to the government after running away from their Saudi sponsors because of alleged financial and physical abuse.
Maids working in Saudi Arabia are mainly from Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Sri Lankan Consul General in Jeddah, Atham Bawa Uthuma Lebbe, told Arab News that once the maids are handed over to the detention centers, the mission’s responsibilities are over.
“The officials at the detention centers are kind enough to negotiate with the Saudi sponsors to get the maximum sums legally due to the poor housemaids.”
He said there has been a drop in the number of runaway maids arriving at the Jeddah mission recently, mainly because maids now fear they have to pay back the recruitment fees spent by their sponsors.
Previously the Jeddah mission dealt with more than 100 runaway maids a month, but this has now fallen to fewer than 10. Recently a labor court in Jeddah ordered that two runaway housemaids pay SR25,000 each for them to be deported to Colombo, their hometown.
Uthuma Lebbe said that a Saudi sponsor spends more than SR20,000 to get a maid from Colombo. “How can he recover the money if the maid runs away from the household in this manner?” This total includes SR5,000 paid to the maid, visa fees, agent fees and the airfare.
Last year, 15 Saudi sponsors filed cases against Sri Lankan housemaids who ran away from their homes in the Eastern Province.


Saudi Electricity Company services resume after bad weather

Updated 4 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Electricity Company services resume after bad weather

RIYADH: The Saudi Electricity Company confirmed Friday that electricity has been restored to all customers who were affected by a power outage in northern Saudi Arabia on Thursday due to adverse weather conditions.
The company said that it worked to restore its electricity services to customers within half an hour after the outage and continued to work through the night until services were restored. It also said that power lines that had been struck by lightening had been tested for safety purposes.
The Saudi Electricity Company added that teams on the ground will remain on call and ready to respond to any emergencies during any changes of weather in the Kingdom in order to maintain a high level of service, and reduce the length of any further power cuts.
The company also apologized for the power outage.
Meanwhile, the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection forecasted thunder, rain, and sand storms in the region of Najran.
Najran’s Directorate General of Civil Defense called on citizens and residents to exercise caution and to avoid valleys, bodies of water, areas close to trees, open spaces, and elevated areas.