DAMMAM – Dr. James Leslie Braun, the Canadian teacher of English language at King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa, has appealed to King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for the early resolution of his dismissal case at the higher labor court in Riyadh.
Braun, who was dismissed by Al-Shabaka Training Establishment, the agency contracted by KFU to recruit foreign teachers to teach preparatory-year programs at the university, filed a case of illegal dismissal at the labor court in Al-Ahsa. The court ruled in his favor and directed the training establishment to reinstate him and pay his back salaries.
The management of Al-Shabaka, which sacked Braun on charges of unprofessional conduct, appealed the case to the higher court in Riyadh where it is now pending.
In his letter of appeal to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Braun said he has been struggling to secure restorative justice, doing it independently because he has no money to hire a lawyer.
“For the past 19 months I have been without salary due to an ongoing wrongful dismissal, and have been given the run-around by officials to whom I appealed for assistance and who often set aside my appeal because they are preoccupied with other cases,” Braun said in his letter to King Abdullah.
He said his case is scheduled for its fourth hearing at the higher labor court in Riyadh on Sunday. “I again expect to be told to come back after three months, as has had happened during my previous hearings,” Braun said. He said he has already adapted himself to the local culture of postponements.
Braun said he is a victim of more than a dozen labor contract violations by the recruiting agency that hired him and 25 other foreign teachers of English. “We were issued illegal visas, we were without Iqamas, and no health insurance,” Braun alleged.
Saudi Gazette tried contacting Al-Shabaka Training Establishment several times at its head office in Al-Ahsa, but was often told to call back because “nobody was available to receive the call.”
Braun said the violations have “profound effects on the further education and careers of young undergraduate Saudi students registered in the Preparatory Year Program at King Faisal University.”
Braun has also appealed to Navanethem Pillay, United Nations Commissioner for Human Right, for assistance in the early resolution of his case. Pillay did not respond to Braun’s appeal, but his case was instead listed in the Human Right Watch. – SG