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Saudi hospital staff strike over unpaid wages


Riyadh –

Staff at a hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia have gone on strike over unpaid wages, workers said on Monday, in the kingdom’s latest case of corporate financial difficulties.

“We are on strike,” said a nurse at Saad Specialist Hospital in the Gulf coast city of Al Khobar.

“We didn’t receive any salary for three and a half months,” she said, unwilling to be identified out of fear of being fired.

She said the hospital is part of Saad Group, whose website says the Saudi-based firm runs “diversified businesses” in the Gulf and has investments around the world.

The finance and construction conglomerate controlled by Saudi billionaire Maan al Sanea made a high-profile and acrimonious split from another Saudi business group, the Algosaibi family, in the wake of the 2008-09 global financial crisis. “The hospital doctors and nurses are on strike,” a hospital security worker confirmed to AFP.

The nurse claimed that about 1,200 nurses have joined the strike action in a country where labour unions are banned. A spokesman for Saad Specialist Hospital could not immediately be reached for comment.

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