Vietnamese laborers in Saudi Arabia say they worked as slaves

TN News

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Nineteen Vietnamese workers sent to Saudi Arabia by a local labor export company several months ago told Thanh Nien they have been forced into slave labor.

The workers said they were sent to Buraidah - the capital of Al-Qassim Province in northcentral Saudi Arabia - by the Viet Thang International Development Joint Stock Company (VTC) in May and June.

Under the contract, they were to work as drivers of mechanical machines for VTC's local counterpart, the Hadari Company.

According to the workers, they had to work daily from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m, but they were paid for only 6-8 hours of work per day.

Nguyen Duc Tam, a worker from Hanoi, said the workers were treated like slaves at the construction sites.

"Most of the vehicles and machines were old and broke down all the time, while the company told us that our salaries would be cut if the machines failed during operation," Tam said.

He said if they stopped work to relieve themselves or to drink water when they were thirsty, their names "were put on a list for low work performance."

On September 21, all of the workers decided to quit.

The company later told the workers it would not be responsible for them and required them to move out of the company's residence.

The jobless workers, who said they had no money and no food, contacted their families to seek help.

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