63 Illegal Gold Shop Workers Arrested

In a nationwide operation, the Ministry of Labor arrested 63 expatriates working in gold and jewelry shops in 47 towns and cities across the country.

According to the undersecretary for the Ministry of Labor for inspection of the work environment, Abdullah Abu Sinen, the inspections were carried out by 334 inspectors and 165 police officers who identified 71 violations among workers and employers, under section 38 and 39 of the labor laws of the Kingdom.

Most of those arrested were expatriates who did not have the required residency permits, or who were not working under their sponsors.

Minister Sinen explained that the gold business in the Kingdom involves a lot of investments, and that the ministry wants to maintain a conducive work environment which is good for both the employer and the employees working in shops and factories throughout the Kingdom.

According to a recent report, around 70 percent of gold shops in Jeddah are under threat of closure due to labor inspection raids.

Mohammed Azor, a member of the gold committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that about 840 gold shops, which account for around 70 percent of the total number of gold shops in Jeddah, would face closure within six months. Some of these shops are expected to rectify their status during this period in line with the nationalization drive.

Azor said that around 40 percent of workshops have already shut down following demands by technicians who have taken advantage of the amnesty period to ask for a threefold hike in salaries.

Meanwhile, workshop owners have urged authorities to provide trained workers to replace the workers leaving the Kingdom due to the inspections. They also urged the Ministry of Labor to allow them to recruit new people to replace workers who had left.

The Saudization drive in gold shops does not affect the Eastern Province traders, since most of them are run by Saudis, Azor said.

The gold shops in the Eastern Province are seen as a model for achieving the highest percentage of localization, estimated to be 90 percent at this stage. Wages range between SR15,000 and SR20,000, as most shops are managed by nationals.

(Source: ArabNews)

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker