Middle EastWorld

Troubled Saudi firm lays off Quran printers

RIYADH: Woes deepened yesterday for employees of troubled conglomerate Saudi Oger which laid off more than 1,300 staff at a printing plant for the Holy Quran, a newspaper reported.

The once-mighty firm led by Lebanon’s billionaire former prime minister Saad Hariri has been hit by a drop in income from its core construction business after Saudi Arabia delayed or cancelled projects in the face of plummeting oil revenues.

The Saudi Gazette said the contract staff at the King Fahd Quran Printing Complex in the holy city of Madinah received termination notices on Tuesday. It said it obtained a copy of the notice ordering workers “to complete the end of service procedures” as their contracts had been terminated on Sept 3.

More than 30,000 Saudi Oger Ltd construction workers, mostly from India, Pakistan and the Philippines, have gone unpaid for up to nine months. The Saudi Gazette said the printing plant staff had also gone months without pay or allowances.
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