Labor action pays off

Labor action pays off
Updated 10 November 2013

Labor action pays off

Labor action pays off

Labor Ministry raids netted thousands of illegals on Tuesday as inspectors probed for the second consecutive day the far corners of the Kingdom to arrest undocumented foreigners.
Officials of labor and interior ministries said they recorded arrests in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Taif, Hail, Jazan, Qassim, Najran and Asir.
In Jazan alone, law enforcing agencies arrested more than 8,000 illegal expats and deported 3,000 illegals to Yemen over a 24-hour period, according to Frontier Guard sources.
Special Forces for Road Safety and the Department of Criminal Investigation in Madinah took about 720 illegals into custody, according to Madinah police chief Maj. Gen. Saud bin Awad Al-Ahmadi.
Madinah police spokesman Col. Fahd Al-Ghanam, said alleged violators detained by the department were handed over to immigration and Interior Ministry authorities.
In Riyadh, witnesses reported that authorities in Olayya, a growing financial district and market area, questioned workers about their visas and iqama status. In Batha, many shops remained closed on the second day.
The construction industry was heavily affected because field engineers did not turn up at the job sites fearing detention.
Meanwhile, labor officials reminded Saudi employers that they face heavy fines if they continue to employ undocumented workers. Employers will also face the costs of deportation. Only self-employed illegal expats will be required to pay the costs of their deportation. But expats unable to afford the travel ticket will be deported at the cost of the Saudi government.
While many Saudis expressed support for the Labor Ministry’s actions, employers are saying they are feeling the brunt of the crackdown.
Abu Saad Al-Saeed said he stopped the work on the building of his new house because of a sudden jump in sand prices.
“Even legal workers are afraid to show up at the work site,” Al-Saeed said. Al-Saeed has subcontracted a painter who is legal and working for his sponsor’s paint shop, but he didn’t show up fearing he would be caught working in a place other than his sponsor’s shop.
Embassy and consulate officials are urging their citizens to quicken their pace to finalize their repatriation home and to remain calm.
Philippine Embassy officials said they are ready to provide appropriate assistance to Filipinos.