A huge number of Saudi Women who are working for school canteens have lodged a complaint that the contractors in charge of running and operating the school canteens treat them very poorly and these women are also only given a monthly salary of SAR 300. The Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has at last set up a new rule in which the contractors who are running these school canteens are required to hire Saudi women as an essential pre requisite for the attainment of renewal for the contract. Thus the contractors are forced to hire who they in turn pay and treat very badly.
One of the complainant women, Zainab Tawfiq, who is also employed in a Dammam school canteen, has lodged a complaint with her superiors about the unfair treatment towards Saudi women. She added that her supervisor was an Arab expatriate who did his best to make them hate their jobs, however these women put up with his ill treatment as they are desperate to make ends meet and feed their family. Zainab added that there is no one to monitor the behavior and performance of the supervisor and that the authorities need to intervene immediately and end this oppression against Saudi women.
Another worker at the canteens, Fatimah Yaseen stated that the contractor in charge of the canteen she is working in is conducting unfair practices by setting a set daily wage for workers, instead of paying in accordance with the hours worked. Fatimah added that when the sales in the canteen are good, the contractor pays according to working hours, which amounts to SAR 600 by the end of the month however when the sales are down then the pay is set per day which amounts up to SAR 300. Fatimah Yaseen and other women colleagues have even sent a letter to the contractor about how unfairly the wages were being given to them and how a major chunk of the income went on the transportation. However the contractor or the company has never replied or offered a solution to their problem.
Fatimah claims that she has tried to find employment elsewhere due to the unfair treatment at this job; however she has had no luck in finding a job. She added that every time she or any of her colleagues bring up the issue of the wages, all they get in return are threats for firing them. Fatimah Yaseen stated that for Saudi women it is a rarity to be paid so badly while employed in the private sector.
Saeed Al Bahid, who is the spokesman for the Eastern Province Education Administration, has advised all of the Saudi female employees of these school canteens who thing that they are being paid or treated unfairly, then they should make their way towards the labor office and lodge a complaint there, and also talk to the officials in the labor department as they are the regulatory authority on setting private sector salaries for Saudis
Source: Saudi Gazette
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