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Disgruntled employees accuse Saudi embassy of ill treatment

Five longtime former employees of the Saudi Embassy, previously stationed in the security unit in the capital, are accusing the mission of ill treatment and withholding their severance payment, including their last month’s salary of employment after serving in the compounds of the embassy for 25 years.

Working at the embassy since 1993 and most recently laid-off in lieu of the services of a security company, they are said to be distraught about their situation and are asking Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry to intervene and help them, as their life has deodorized since their eventual firing six months ago. (They asked The Reporter to withhold their names for various reasons, including future job prospects).

Despite promises of quick action, they allege, including an audience with the ambassador and others at the embassy, they were said to have reached a brick wall.

“We were good at what we did, we worked for 25 long years with little problem, but they just dumped us sadly with no handshake, but a painful goodbye,” one of them told The Reporter. “We were told to vacate our jobs, with little warning and for the last six months and we have been struggling to survive. We provided stellar job performance and the least we are asking is for our rights to be respected.”

According to them, the embassy has a severance policy that is not being followed. For instance, it pays a one month salary for five years of service, and three months for those working between five to 10 years and nine month for those with 10 to 15 years of service.

However, they contest, because they had worked for a quarter of century, they are entitled to 40,000 riyal, which is the equivalent to about 270,000 birr. They are alleging that they were only paid about 7,300 dollars, the equivalent of about 198,000 birr at the current bank exchange.

“That is in addition to the withholding of our severance payment and the last month payment”, one of them said. “We have family to feed and many depend on us.”

The Reporter reached out to the embassy and they confirmed they were aware of the situation but insisted it will be resolved in due time.