‘Indian women unpaid for nine months in Saudi Arabia’

Dubai, March 22: Eleven Indian women, working as cleaners in a hospital in Saudi Arabia have appealed for help after they were allegedly not paid their salaries for the past nine months, a media report said Saturday.

The workers, hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala, are on contractual jobs for a cleaning company in the hospital in Saudi capital Riyadh and have not joined duty since March 16, the Arab News reported Saturday.

They said they would return to work only after their salaries were paid.

The report said the cleaning company owners could not be contacted Friday.

However, the Indian embassy in Riyadh expressed its concern over the matter.

“We are in constant touch with the workers, top management of the company and Saudi authorities. It will continue to follow up on the case on a priority basis,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.

Maniyamma Rajan Vilasini, one of the workers, told the newspaper that they had filed a complaint with the Indian embassy but nothing has happened so far.

“They are discriminating against Indian workers. All the other workers have received payment. We have had many problems because of this,” Vilasini alleged.

The cleaning company had employed them for two-and-a-half years.

The women complained that the company did not allow them to go on vacation or leave on final exit visas after completing their two-year contracts.

The embassy, in its statement, urged all Indian workers in that Gulf nation to follow the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.

It also slammed what it described as self-styled social workers and illegal agents who have been instigating the workers to go on strike.

IANS