The Minister of Affairs and Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Maryam Al-Aqeel, revealed that many companies have been uncovered exploiting their government contracts to indulge in human trafficking and visa trading, and the ministry has referred these companies to public prosecution for legal measures to be taken against them, Al Anba reported. She added that 19 company files were referred for prosecution, 16 files were referred by the Ministry of Interior, 33 files were referred by the investigative department of residency affairs and 197 files were referred by Public Authority of Manpower.

She noted that in the last 10 years there were 419,421 expats on residency visas under government contracts totaling 4,497 which ended. Regarding the number of expats who violated residency law and were on visas under government project, she noted that there were various reasons, such as the companies failed to timely amend their status by renewing their residency or make preparations for their deportation. She added there are 28,748 workers who have expired residency visas and are on government project visas.

Employees strikes

Speaking on the reasons for the ongoing strikes by many expatriate workers,  the ministry has taken the necessary measures by penalizing these companies for breaching contract terms with the workers  The main reason for workers resorting to strikes is due to non-payment of salaries during the coronavirus crisis. Al-Aqeel, noted that the complaints were received and action was taken.  Pointing out that emergency teams were formed to settle striking labor disputes, she said the employers were summoned to settle the matter of financial dues.

Outlining the figures, she said there were a total of 182 strikes, 3,502 government contracts were suspended due to salary issues and 1,471 suspensions were carried out on subcontracting companies under government contracts for non-payment of salaries, 627 contracts were suspended as the government contracts ended, and they failed to amend the employment contracts.