(MENAFN - Arab News) Nearly a dozen Indian youth hired to work in a leading transport company are facing starvation as their employer has refused to pay them wages for over six months.
The 13 Indian nationals hailing from various districts of the populous state of Uttar Pradesh in India were recruited by a well-known transport company engaged in transporting university students to various destinations in the Kingdom.
Speaking with Arab News, the workers complained that they had received only one month's salary since their arrival in the Kingdom while some of them got a one-time advance of merely SR300. They said they had no money to survive on and were starving. The workers are putting up in an accommodation provided by their employer on the old Makkah Road near the Jamjoom intersection.
The drivers were hired on a monthly salary of SR1,200 whereas a laborer's salary varies from SR 800-SR1,000. According to them, although they are drivers they are forced to work as cleaners.
The workers said that after waiting for a couple of months, they approached the Indian Consulate in Jeddah which called the sponsor but there was no response.
The workers said that they did not want to violate any norms of the Kingdom but that they expected justice. "In India, the manpower agents promised conditions which are contrary to what we are experiencing now. We just want to be paid for the period we worked and be sent home," they added.
One of the workers said: "I was paid a small portion of my salary five days ago. It was only then that I came to know how Saudi riyal notes looks like."
All the workers complained that they did not have enough to eat. "Sometimes, we just resort to begging for food," one of them said.
Sources said that there is a contract dispute between the hiring and leasing firms which has put these workers in a jam.
The leasing agents in India are asking the workers to approach their sponsors in the Kingdom while the hiring firms are questioning them about who sponsored their visas.
The aggrieved drivers have appealed to the labor court in Jeddah seeking justice. They are scheduled to appear in the Labor Office again on Sunday, they said. Meanwhile, they don't know where the next meal will come from.