Chinese railroad workers riot in Makkah

Oct 13, 2010

JEDDAH: A group of Chinese workers involved in the construction of Mashair Railway (Makkah Metro) rioted in front of their company while demanding an immediate increase in their salaries for working in the hot weather.

The workers overturned two company vehicles and broke the windows of four others during the disturbances. The company then called police to restrain the rioting workers.

“Security officers quickly brought the situation under control,” a company official told Arab News, adding that they arrested 16 workers involved in the incident.

Maj. Abdul Mohsen Al-Maiman, spokesman of Makkah police, was unavailable for comment when Arab News tried to contact him.

However, an informed source at the company said the rioting did not affect its work on the railway, which links the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. The source said the company would not charge the workers for the damages to the vehicles.

In July, Makkah police quelled another rioting of workers at a labor-housing compound owned by a large national company in the city’s Al-Shukiya district.

Maj. Zaki Al-Ruhaili, acting spokesman for Makkah police, said his officers were able to bring the riot under control at the compound, home to over 3,000 employees. Workers involved in the riot were protesting poor living conditions.

“Those involved were arrested and taken in for questioning,” the spokesman said at the time.

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