Cyprus Mail

Official flies to Saudi to consult with stranded J&P staff

Foreign ministry deputy permanent secretary Marios Ieronymides will travel to Saudi Arabia to speak to Cypriot employees of J&P Overseas who have been left in limbo after the construction company went into liquidation.

In a statement, the ministry said Ieronymides was expected to fly to Saudi Arabia on Monday to have contacts with the Cypriot workers who were affected by the developments.

The ministry said it has been in touch with all involved government services since the start.

Last week, the government said it would be paying for Cypriot staff to return to the island.

The company used to employ around 6,000 people in Saudi Arabia, of whom around 200 are Cypriots. The Cypriot employees had said that they hadn’t been paid for five months and some could not afford to buy air tickets to return to the island.

They had also said that the company has misappropriated the amount withheld from their wages for social insurance and the welfare fund, which have not been paid to the Cyprus government for 2017 and 2018.

Stranded in Saudi Arabia are also around 5,000 nationals from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Egypt, employed by J&P Overseas.

In a series of letters released to the media in recent weeks, they have said they are now living in camps like prisoners as their work permits have expired and they are unable to move freely in the country.

Similar conditions are faced by J&P Overseas staff elsewhere in the Gulf.

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