Middle East

Saudi Labor Minister vows Binladin workers to be paid soon

  • FILE - In this May 8, 2014, file photo a man works on construction of the Kingdom Tower, a planned 252-story building, which aims to become the world's tallest skyscraper when complete, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE - In this May 8, 2014, file photo a man works on construction of the Kingdom Tower, a planned 252-story building, which aims to become the world's tallest skyscraper when complete, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, cranes rise at the site of an expansion to the Grand Mosque as Muslim pilgrims circle counterclockwise around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 file photo, cranes rise at the site of an expansion to the Grand Mosque as Muslim pilgrims circle counterclockwise around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, Muslim pilgrims walk outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy, File)

    FILE- In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, Muslim pilgrims walk outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Employees at giant construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, have set fire to more than seven company buses to protest a reportedly large round of looming layoffs and not being paid their salaries for months. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy, File)  (The Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia's Labor Minister says some employees of the Saudi Binladin Group will receive their salaries this month and others soon thereafter.

Thousands of employees of the construction giant have been holding rare protests over not being paid their salaries for up to six months. Employees set fire to company buses Saturday to also protest a large round of reported layoffs.

Construction firms in the Gulf have suffered from delayed government spending on major projects.

Labor Minister Mufrej al-Haqbani said Tuesday that workers are protected under Saudi labor law and would receive overdue salaries even if they are fired and issued exit visas.

Local Saudi newspapers have reported that the Saudi Binladin Group terminated employment for at least 50,000 foreign workers and was considering firing 12,000 Saudis.