Disgruntled Binladin Group workers burn buses in Mecca
Disgruntled employees of Saudi Arabia’s Binladin Group construction company have torched several buses in the city of Mecca.
In a video posted on Youtube on Saturday, several buses were set on fire by the employees who were protesting five-month salary payment delays.
According to reports, demonstrations are held almost daily in front of the company’s offices.
The incident follows the company’s recent laying off of 25 percent of its employees as Saudi Arabia plunges into financial crisis, induced by dropping international crude oil prices. On Friday, the company terminated the contracts of 50,000 of its foreign workers.
The company is run by the Bin Laden family, which has close ties with Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. Known as the second largest construction company in the world after French firm Vinci Construction, the Jeddah-based conglomerate was founded in 1931 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Laden, the father of al-Qaeda’s slain leader Osama bin Laden. In the 1990s, Osama bin Laden was purportedly disowned by the family.
According to the website of the Saudi Binladin Group, it has worked on numerous important projects in the Kingdom, including al-Faisaliah tower in central Riyadh, King Abdullah Financial District, several universities, and the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.