Saudi Telecom Company employees go on strike

Riyadh: In a rare move in Saudi Arabia, more than 1,000 employees of the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) went on strike on Sunday demanding bonus payment.

Some of the strikers are also calling for the company chief to step down.

The strike has led to the halt of services provided by customer care help desks.

On Facebook, the employees launched a campaign under the slogan “Together Against Al Duwaish”, referring to Saud Al Duwaish, the company’s chief, whom the employees accuse of mismanagement.

The employees were angry after the company took a decision granting annual bonus to senior grade staff and depriving low-salaried workers.

Employees have been talking about a contract with an Indian company within which STC wants to transfer large number of employees to the contracting company, depriving them of some incentives they have been getting.

It was reported that STC management tried to persuade employees to return to work but failed. Later the company chief sent a message to the employees promising that this year’s bonus would be paid and urged them to double their efforts to realise excellent results in 2011.

A Saudi Telecom employee who was contacted by Gulf News on Monday morning said work resumed and they were giving the company till the end of the day to fulfil its promises.

He declined to say whether the employees still stick with all demands including the removal of the chief or they would be satisfied with the bonus.

“There are several promises to be fulfilled,” he added, without elaborating.

The STC announced earlier that its revenues in 2010 have touched 14.7 billion riyals. The company was established in 1998 following a decision adopted by the Saudi cabinet to privatise the Kingdom’s telecom sector.

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