Hyderabad: Around 49 Indian workers are stranded in Saudi Arabia after their company refused to pay their salaries.

For the last two years, the employees were working for Arkad Engineering and Construction Company in Saudi Arabia. But for the last one year, the company has not paid them wages. Plus the employees are not able to switch over to other companies as their Iqama (residence permit) has expired.

Since the employees were not getting paid, the employees entered into negotiation with the company and agreed on a 50 percent payment so that they can return home. However, Arkad went back on its promise leaving employees high and dry.

When these employees contacted the Indian Embassy, they were asked to file a legal case in the court.

“We don’t want to get into a lengthy process. Some of us have already filed the case. The court gave judgment in their favor some months back. But the company is dragging its feet. Plus filing case will take more time. Our Iqama and medical insurance have expired on August 31. We don’t even have money to survive. So we all want to return as soon as possible,” said Aftab Alam, an employee.

Of the 49 employees, two are from Telangana, and four from Andhra Pradesh.

“We agreed to receive a 50% salary. Later the company paid 10 employees in June and then again stopped. We want the embassy to take up the issue with the Saudi government so that our salary is released,” said Aftab Alam.

Employees alleged that Arkad has also terminated their contract leaving them stranded. “People working with them on other projects are getting salary on time. We have been left out,” he said.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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