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Tue 20 Sep 2016 09:59 AM

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Saudi hospital staff on strike over salary delays

At least 200 workers at one of the largest privately-run hospitals claim they haven’t been paid since May

Saudi hospital staff on strike over salary delays
Photo for illustrative purpose. (Getty Images)

About 200 employees at one of Saudi Arabia's largest privately-run hospitals were on strike on September 19 to protest against nearly four months of salary delays, Associated Press reported.

A non-medical employee at Saad Specialist Hospital in the eastern city of Al Khobar told AP that more staff were joining the strike, which began about three weeks ago but has intensified this week following Eid.

The Saudi national reportedly said workers had not been paid since May. She said doctors and nurses were among those on strike, but that emergency care workers and some medical practitioners were not striking to care for patients most in need.

She said the hospital's management had not given employees any indication of when they would e paid or why salaries have been delayed. She reportedly said the Labor Ministry had met with management but had so far failed to resolve the issue.

The dispute follows several similar situations in Saudi Arabia, where multiple companies have struggled to pay staff due to a lack of cash flow. Many of those firms claim they have not been paid for work done for the government, which is itself coping with low oil revenues, which have halved since 2014. The construction sector has been particularly hard hit.

The majority of workers in the kingdom are foreigners and are unable to resign or leave the kingdom unless they sign a document stating they have received all their dues.