Friday, March 20, 2015

Saudis share bonus (2 months salaries) with cleaning staff

After the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud on Friday, 23 January 2015, a sense of despondency was seen among many Saudi reformists. King Salman was appointed as the next King of Saudi Arabia. He has served the deputy governor and then the governor of Riyadh for approximately 48 years. Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz was born in 1935 in Riyadh and is the 25th son of the founder of Saudi Arabia while Prince Murqin is appointed as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah after his coronation, in 2005, had announced a raise of 15 percent in salaries of government employees. And also after returning from medical treatment abroad, one month salary bonus was issued by him in 2011.

As soon as King Salman ascended the throne, he had taken charge. But no measures have caught so much buzz as these 2 month salary bonuses to large number of Saudi employees. The Kingdoms consumer boom will be sustained due to this lavish payout. Financial grants were also provided by King Salman to the sports and literary clubs and professional associates in the Kingdom. King Salman ordered two month basic salary bonus to all the Saudi government civil and military employees. Similar bonus was announced for students and pensioners. King Salman’s announcement had no monetary figure. Overall, a bonus of $32 billion was paid to the Saudi employees of state owned companies.

Saudi Electricity, had announced to pay SR 545 million among its Saudi employees as a bonus. Saudi Telecom had also announced to pay SR 395 million to its Saudi employees. Several large banks had also decided to pay two month salary according to financial news website, Argaam. Many people said the bonuses were paid since the government salaries had not kept pace with rising prices.  After the two month salary paid to Saudi employees, they started pondering of ways to spend it.  

The Saudis started planning to spend their money in numerous ways, some of the people on vacations while others planned to bring their wedding dates closer due to availability of cash. Few Saudis also tried to resolve their rent issues while others decided to pay off their large amounts of debts which couldn’t be paid of earlier due to fewer amount of cash. Some have treated themselves with new mobiles, cars and handbags. While some men decided to buy gold for their mothers, wife or daughters.

Saudi employees after receiving their bonus, some of them shared this gift with the cleaning workers, thanking them for a clean neighborhood. A ceremony was taken place, outdoors in front of the municipality, where the Saudi employees expressed their gratitude by sharing bonus with the cleaning workers. Al Rawda municipality chief, Khaled Al Sayyar was reported telling the man “we wish you all the best in this land of Islam.” Al Sayyar also said “this gesture from the Saudi employees is also recognition of your sincere effort to clean the neighborhood you were assigned to take care of. We have seen remarkable cleanliness there.”  Al Sayyar’s message was translated into the cleaning staff’s native languages.

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