Saudi workers on strike

This video is called Saudi Pipeline Death Toll At 40.

By Harvey Thompson:

Class struggle emerges in Saudi Arabia

25 February 2011

Over 600 construction workers employed by a major company on a project expanding the northern courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia are on strike.

Their employer, King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project, failed to pay their wages for two months and has not paid overtime. They also called for wage increases and better accommodation.

On Monday, police were used to disperse the strikers protesting close to the site.

The Saudi construction industry is notoriously low paid and dangerous for the workers, both native born and migrant. Last month, three workers were killed and 11 injured after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site at Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman women’s University, in the capital, Riyadh.

On February 16, hundreds of workers at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and extension projects at the King Saud University (KSU), in the capital, stopped work due to non payment of their regular wages and overtime pay.

A technician from Uttar Pradesh, India, said, “We get our salaries, which is sometimes delayed. However, we don’t get payment for overtime services rendered.”

The eruption of industrial action in the US-backed absolute monarchy is an expression of deeper social tensions in the country ruled by the House of Saud. The wave of revolution sweeping North Africa and the Middle East is beginning to find reverberations in the one nation in the region that—based on brutal imperialist patronage, ruthless exploitation of millions of migrant laborers and the resources of the largest reserves of oil on the planet—seemed to have suppressed the class struggle for several decades.

A group of Saudi youth has called for a rally in the southwestern coastal city of Jeddah to show solidarity with the pro-democracy uprisings and revolutions across the Arab world: here.

5 thoughts on “Saudi workers on strike

  1. SABIC chemical workers strike at plant in Netherlands

    On February 6, workers at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) Europe Chemicals’ Netherlands based Geleen plant ended a strike. According to the company, the strike began on January 31, “due to the proactive measure taken by the union workforce as a consequence of no finalised agreement regarding work conditions”.

    The workers are members of the De Unie trade union and the strike is reportedly centred on the issue of support and payments to staff who may be laid off in the future.

    SABIC is the largest petrochemical maker in the world and operates two naphtha crackers and a number of polymerization plants at Geleen. These produce 1.25 million tons of ethylene, 940,000 tons of polyethylene, 725,000 tons of propylene and 620,000 tons of polypropylene per annum.


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