Cyprus Mail

J&P Overseas Saudi workers make renewed plea for backpay

Five thousand employees from J&P Overseas Saudi Arabia have accused the collapsed construction giant of failing to pay their salaries since January 2018, leaving some of their families facing starvation.

The letter says that the employees mostly from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal and Egypt, are owed approximately 125 to 150 million Saudi riyals (approximately 35 million euros).

“We estimate that all of our unpaid dues may be around 125 or 150 Saudi Riyals which is a very small amount as compared to your periodic charities, donations done through foundations established on the names of company’s founders the Late Mr Stelios Joannou & late Mr G Paraskevaides, plus individual charities done by the members of both the Joannou & Paraskevaides families,” the employees said in the letter.

The employees said that they understand the company’s accounts in Saudi Arabia have been exhausted, but they want to be paid their salaries.

“We have been serving the company with our blood and sweat for many years with a maximum range of 40 years’ service.”

The employees said that they were low paid workers of the company and that due to their non-payment they and their families were on the verge of facing ‘starvation’.

The Saudi workers’ plea comes a day after a similar one from J&P Overseas workers in Oman.

“There are no words that can describe the scale of this human crisis suffered by the people who worked hard for the name of the company and have stood by and continue to stand by its side,” the letter said.

Two Cypriots as well as others risked losing their homes because they were not in position to service their loans, the letter added.

The Oman branch employs 1,360 people whom also faced additional problems because the money the company paid for their food was meant to run out on Wednesday.

The same went for the money that paid for the fuel to run the generators that provided power to the workers’ quarters and the site’s offices.

Similar conditions are faced by J&P Overseas staff elsewhere in the Gulf. The problems at J&P Overseas emerged earlier this year and culminated recently with the company going into liquidation.

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