Saudi Oger Employees: Without Future

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Al-Akhbar Management

The layoff decision came on the heels of Saudi Oger’s success two years ago in obtaining a long-term loan of $800 million. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)

By: Maysam Rizk

Published Monday, January 21, 2013

Saudi Oger, a private contractor owned by the Hariri family, has continued its series of layoffs into 2013. Though the official number of employees dismissed is unavailable, it’s estimated that 400 individuals, mostly Lebanese nationality holders, have been laid off. In the next few days, the number is expected to rise.

The justification from management is as follows: “What is happening is part of the process developed by the company to address the financial crisis it is passing through.”

Almost a year ago, the Saudis began keeping an eye on Hariri’s company, which reeked of corruption. Several high-ranking officials – some close to Saad Hariri – were accused of theft and extortion. But Hariri could not find a solution to the crisis, nor was he able to restore the confidence that the company lost in the market.

So he began a major pruning operation, laying off lower-level employees without any indication of objections to their job performance. The dismissals did not even spare Saudi nationals, leading to widespread dissent.

The layoff decision came on the heels of Saudi Oger’s success two years ago in obtaining a long-term loan of $800 million. This was to complete the second phase of the King Abdullah Project (KAP2) to develop installations for the Ministry of Interior. Deutsche Bank AG, China Development Bank, and Emirates NBD Bank provided the credit for the facilities.

Back then, Hariri’s media celebrated the successful deal without any indication that loan conditions entailed “the dismissal of a large number of employees as part of the plan to restructure the company as agreed with the Saudis.”

The Saudis once treated the company with care, providing it with contracts in the region’s biggest oil economy. Now, the company is suffering from internal disputes and theft. It became closer to a scrapyard for the Kingdom.

“It got used to doing whatever it wanted without accountability,” a dismissed employee told Al-Akhbar. “Its problems are from the base to the top of the administrative pyramid, which has often depended on people who should not be trusted, regardless of their leadership and administrative skills.”

Their identity is not a secret. It is enough to conduct an online search for Saudi Oger to uncover the scandals, not only in its internal administration, but also related to embezzlement of Saudi public funds. Hariri is still up to his ears trying to solve these issues.

Saida Bears the Brunt of the Layoffs

As the Saudi Oger crisis has extended into 2013, the novelty is in its picking thousands of employees to sacrifice, all in the name of implementing the conditions on its bank loan.

The donors are demanding the restructuring of the Hariri empire. This means dispensing of around 30 percent of Saudi Oger employees.

The majority of the 400 dismissed employees are Lebanese – the bulk of whom are from Saida, Harir’s hometown in South Lebanon. It’s predicted that in the coming months, the number of employees laid off in Saida will top 1,500, according to a source close to the company.

As such, those in Saida impacted by the layoffs said, “This will impact the life of the families living in the city, belaboring them with a new layer of unemployment.”

Saudi Oger employees provided different accounts of the company’s latest decisions. Many prefered to remain silent in hopes that “the company will reverse its decision once solidarity spreads among the dismissed employees and those who remained in their posts,” said one employee.

Another employee indicated that “the decision [to lay off more employees] will be deferred until after the parliamentary elections, so as not to hurt the chances of the Future Movement in Lebanon,” he said.

Observers see that the company’s choice “is a reply to the attack it faced, especially in Saudi media, which had launched a campaign against Hariri.” It accused him of “swallowing and forgetting, to the extent that he dared fire Saudi employees, without prior warning or due procedure.”

They even demanded that the Saudi government “take strict actions against the company.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Comments

Whats the real financial status of saudi oger now?
Im a filipina and planning to work with this company.

Right now they are recruiting Filipina's to work in there facilities department.
Please can someone tell me the status of this company as of this date.

It would be much appreciated!. Thank you so much

We have got job offer from Saudi Oger, but as we have heard there are no projects at present in their hand. So I want to know why the people are being appointed for job? will their be job safety?
And also salary is not being paid correct time. what the company wants to answer for my question?
If anyone can reply

I have work for saudi oger in the past in his manitenance departmnet.It the best company in saudi arabia.I have always being treated well although I came from a third worl country.I left the company because I want to study in United kingdom.one day if I want to look for job ,I will go for saudi oger.On of the best company,some of my colleagues still working in saudi oger for over 25 years.
REGARDS
GOOLAM

Saudi Oger is the worst construction company.They don t pay the subcontractors and the (high level )personal is not qualified.
They don't respect the scope of work and they have problem with the consultant They paid extra money in order to valid the work wich is made with no professionalism....and so on

Indeed. Saudi Oger is the worst construction company within Saudi Arabia.It truly lives to its name "OGRE"- a cannibal monster. Full of a*** in the management. The corruption problems are within their high ranking managers and most close relatives, and politics. The Hariri family should not only terminate Lebanese nationals but also atheist French speaking nationals who connives with HOB managers and suppliers especially on doing material purchases. The order on the PO's are made in USA, but the actual delivery are made in china- no wonder many building collapses. Worst of all, NO Material Deliveries being made, only PO's to be signed as "RECEIVED" and the materials were taken from previous stocks from active sites for formality count. Sideline incomes are bigger than actual monthly salaries. Efforts on Oracle programming are "a big" waste!!! Why? You ask one of the CES department managers why. Remaining... cost plus materials are put inside a container (SO code plate detached) and via sea-cargo sent to France. SO do accept sub-contracting to be sub-contracted by other low-budgeted companies. The legal department officers are nothing but bunch of morons inside a nice suit.

Saudi oger is worst.... No salaty for 5 months and no iquama... Many of them wants to filled final exit.. But they cant leave because there is no iquama and ther money / atm still frozen.... Saudi oger has no system at all... They are always waiting for godot...

For the gents who commented, why you don't leave Oger then ?
End of Services are being paid as full.

Moh M Hariri

nothing as been solved !! is actualy near to the bankupt...... no salaries since again two months , no materials, labors always on stryke...etc and nothing hapen even there is a new saudi law concerning the monthly salaries payment ....in add of this if someone want leaving the company they leave without any payment !!!!

our saudi oger is again going to bankrupt and no one from higher management is sharing information
to staff about the situation .

for your information , nothing as be done ..... and the salaries are not been paid since almost 3 month , no bonus , no allowance , etc....But the company continue the recruitement and the news employees come with big salary , so nothing to say..........!!!

so what is happening now in the company, should the new recruits not take the offer?

ofcourse the don't have to. A number of new recruits came recently from philipine and india and they're here from a bout a month or two and they didn't get any salary yet. we didn't get any salary since 2 months and now we're in the third month. They don't even tell if they are willing to pay or not even saying when. they just used to give pay slip and that's it. a pay slip with no date on it so you just keep on waiting and listening to rumors. And what is saad al hariri doing? nothing he should be sleeping right now it's a littlle bit early for him to wake up sinse he ve got nothing to do and nothing to worry about. When rafik al hariri was at the top of the company he used to pay each employe at time without beeing late a single day. This company is just getting worst...

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