Saudi Arabia: Workers set fire to buses after '50,000 sacked and wages unpaid'

Binladin Group employees say they have not received their wages for six months

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The Independent Online

Workers at a major Saudi construction firm have set fire to nine company buses in protest over thousands of sackings and their salaries not being paid.

Employees at Binladin Group have staged several demonstrations within Saudi Arabia’s Mecca region in recent weeks, with some claiming they have not received their wages for six months. 

The attack on the company buses came after Saudi Al-Watan newspaper reported the company had laid off 50,000 foreign employees and issued them exit visas. 

Spokesperson for Mecca’s Civil Defense Major Nayef al-Sharif said  no injuries were caused by the fires, and that firefighters had put out the blaze. 

Reports say the company, set up by the father of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin laden, is in $30 billion worth of debt due to falling oil prices. 

The Saudi government suspended the company from taking on further contracts in September 2015 after a crane collapsed in the city of Mecca, killing 107 people.

The company has not yet issued a statement about the protest, nor responded to accusations made against them by employees. 

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