(MENAFN -Arab News) Many illiterate laborers have indicated that they are facing problems withdrawing their salaries from automated teller machines (ATM).
The Ministry of Labor had issued a directive earlier, stipulating that companies must pay workers through banks to ensure they receive salaries regularly and promptly.
Mohammed Nourudueen Sarkar, an illiterate expatriate working in Jeddah, told Arab News that the company he works for deposits his salary to his bank account and has instructed him to withdraw money through an ATM. However, Sarkar said he cannot read or understand English or Arabic and this poses a problem as all ATMs use two languages to process transactions.
?I am a poor man. I do not know how to read or write in my native language, so how would I understand how to operate a machine in Arabic or English. Many of my fellow workers are facing the same problem. I tried to withdraw money from the ATM, but I didn?t know how to use the card and there was no one to assist me. I forgot my security number and as a result my card has been seized by the machine,? he said.
Manley Paul, another expatriate worker, said he felt helpless and anxious because he didn?t understand how to withdraw money from an ATM.
?I recently moved to Saudi Arabia and still don?t know the language. I have also never used an ATM and I don?t know which buttons to press to proceed with my request. It would be helpful if a security man from the bank would assist us on how to withdraw money from our accounts. I tried to visit the bank, but the employee at the counter insisted that I use the ATM,? he added.
The Ministry of Labor implemented the mandatory Wage Protection Program for large companies and private schools on Sept. 1, 2013. Companies with more than 3,000 employees as well as private schools came under the program, and soon small companies will also be incorporated into the system.
According to officials from the ministry, the basic objective of the program is to guarantee that Saudi and non-Saudi employees working in the private sector receive their full salaries on time. Companies were also ordered to register files related to the disbursement of employee salaries at the ministry?s Web portal. This will enable the ministry to closely supervise the payment of wages in the private sector.