One Dies as Rival Groups of Asian Workers Clash, Burn Police Cars

2015-0803 One Dies as Rival Groups of Asian Workers Clash, Burn Police Cars

RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.
A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thursday about the death of a worker inside the company’s residential complex, which houses employees of different nationalities, after a dispute broke out between them.
The dispute intensified between Indian and Bangladeshi workers, quickly escalating into a mass brawl that spread to outside the confines of the company and onto the main road.
Employees attacked a number of passers-by on the road and broke the glass of numerous vehicles, said the source and upon the arrival of police cars to the site, their vehicles were also flipped over and set on fire.
A team of the Special Security Forces arrived shortly after to break up the crowds.
No security official was injured, but investigations are still ongoing, a police source said.
While the Indian Embassy in Riyadh has refused to comment about the causes of the fight, claiming lack of available information, spokesman of the Ministry of Labor, Taiseer Al-Mofrej, confirmed the brawl was not due to delayed wages but was due to personal differences between the employees.
He said the ministry has immediately begun investigating the incident to determine whether the rights of employees had been met, and it reserves the right to punish the company based on the results of the investigation.

The incident comes three months after an incident in Dammam in which a number of foreign workers attacked three citizens and their vehicles after a dispute over items purchased at a local shopping center where the workers had been employed.
According to statistics issued by the Ministry of Labor, close to 8.2 million workers have been employed in the Kingdom for 15 years, while another 1.42 million have spent between 10 and 15 years in the Kingdom. Some 1.62 million workers have spent between 6 and 10 years, while 6.5 million workers have spent more than four years employed in the Kingdom.
Lawyer and legal adviser Abdulrahman Al-Laham said employers hold the majority of the responsibility in cases of employee strikes if they are caused by delayed payment of wages.




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