Massive raids on mobile shops across the Kingdom
RIYADH – Inspection teams from the Ministry of Labor, in coordination with the security forces, have started raids on mobile phone sales outlets and maintenance shops across the Kingdom, prior to enforcing total Saudization of the sector in six months.
The teams inspected thousands of shops and recorded several violations. Punitive measures have been taken against the shops and workers who violated the labor and residency regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The main purpose of the inspection visits was to officially inform owners about the ministry’s decision to fully Saudize the shops in phases. The inspectors visited more than 900 shops in the provinces of Makkah, Madinah, Asir and the Eastern Province.
In the northern Al-Jouf region, 306 shops were raided and more than 165 shops served warning notice. A total of 28 violations were discovered during the raids.
Abdulaziz Al-Ruwaili, director general of the ministry’s branch in Al-Jouf, said the teams inspected shops in the cities of Sakaka, Doumat Al-Jandal, Qurayyat and Tabarjal.
“The ministry’s branch is keen to take punitive measures against violators of the labor regulations in any sector. The security campaign will continue until June 6 (Ramadan 1), which is the deadline for 50 percent Saudization in the mobile phone sales and maintenance sector,” he said, adding that these measures have been taken to reiterate the ministry’s determination to create more and more jobs for Saudi male and female jobseekers.
Ibrahim Al-Zulfan, director general of the ministry’s branch in Al-Baha, said inspection teams raided many mobile shops in Qalwa governorate and penal actions were taken against several violators.
Meanwhile, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdullatief Al-Asheikh said the decision to implement total Saudization of the mobile phone sector will push forward the wheel of the Kingdom’s economic development and enable more young Saudi men and women to enter the job market and gain attractive income.
Last week, Minister of Labor Mufrej Al-Haqbani issued orders for the total Saudization of all sales outlets and maintenance shops of mobile phones and their accessories within six months.
As per the new directive, mobile sales and maintenance shops will have to replace all expatriate workers with Saudis within a period of six months, starting from Sept. 3 (Dhul Hijjah 1). Al-Haqbani said the new decision would be implemented in cooperation with the ministries of commerce and industry, municipal and rural affairs, and communications and information technology. The ministry said the decision will be implemented in all regions and cities of the Kingdom without exception and it will be applicable to shops of all sizes.
The authorities have started providing training for young Saudi men and women to enable them to take up jobs in the sector.