Binladin Group gets delayed Saudi government funds
SAUDI Arabia’s government has transferred delayed funds to construction giant Saudi Binladin Group so it can pay back-wages to its remaining employees.
The firm “received some payment in the last couple of weeks”, Yaseen Alattas, Saudi Binladin Group’s chief communications officer, told AFP.
Delayed receipts from the government, whose oil revenues have dropped significantly over the past two years, have left tens of thousands of employees of the kingdom’s construction firms struggling while they wait for salaries.
Mr Alattas said Saudi Binladin Group has already finished payments to around 70,000 laid-off workers.
“They got paid completely with all their due salaries and their final indemnities,” he said, adding that the expatriates among them have gone home.
Some workers still with the company have also received their delayed wages, “based on the payments that are coming now from the government”, whose business is the foundation of Saudi construction contracts.
Mr Alattas said those payments will continue “based proportionately to the payments as they come from the government”.
He was not specific about how many employees remain with the company, but said it is a “floating number” based on projects.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the government paid Saudi Binladin Group between US$800 million and $1.1 billion in September to cover unpaid wages.
The firm was suspended for several months from new government projects after a deadly crane accident in September last year at Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
Saudi Binladin was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed five years ago by US Navy SEALs. –