Thousands of Indian workers, most of whom worked construction jobs, haven’t been paid in seven months. The Indian consulate in Jeddah set up a food line for workers near labor camps, passing out rice, onions, and cooking oil. Sushma Swaraj, the Indian minister of external affairs, said her government was working to help.
The conglomerate Saudi Oger Ltd. employed many of the stranded Indian workers, and holds on to their passports, as is the case with low-income migrant workers throughout the Middle East. The company, according to some of the Indian workers, will only return their passports back when they buy a ticket back home to India. Until then, they are stranded in Saudi Arabia.