RIYADH — A number of citizens recently gathered in front of a labor recruitment office in the capital demanding that the money they had paid to recruit maids and drivers be refunded.
The citizens had paid an authorized recruitment office thousands of riyals each and were told the workers would arrive within 90 to 180 days. However, after more than a year passed, the recruitment office shuttered its doors, prompting the angry citizens to protest.
Riyadh police intervened to calm the situation and told the citizens to take up their claims with the relevant authorities.
Speaking to a local daily, the citizens said even though their respective contracts stipulated that a penalty of SR30 would be imposed on the recruitment office for each day there was a delay, months had passed without any compensation being paid. The whereabouts of the owner of the recruitment office remained unknown and the citizens said they had exhausted all efforts to recover the money they had paid the office.
“We checked with the office after the initial expiry of the terms of the agreement to know the reasons behind the delay and we were reassured that the workers were on their way and would be in the Kingdom within days. However, days turned into 18 months and the workers never arrived,” said one of the citizens on condition of anonymity.
When the citizens demanded a refund, the office asked them to waive the penalty clause which awarded the citizens SR30 for each day there was a delay.
After exhausting all efforts with the office, the citizens went to the Sulaimaniya police station to file a complaint but were turned away and told to go to the labor office, which accepted their complaint and sent a warning letter to the recruitment office giving it 45 days to resolve the matter. However, after 45 days had lapsed, the office was shuttered and a “Closed Until Further Notice” sign placed in the window. “We have been cheated out of our money and demand the authorities take action.” — SG