Not a very tasteful way to describe the fact that the Bin Laden family business is going through a difficult business time.
The Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), a construction conglomerate, is facing street protests for not paying employees for months. It’s a trickle down problem in that the Saudi government has taken a hit because of falling oil prices and therefore hasn’t paid its contractors.
SBG has also taken a hit in new contracts. The Washington Post notes the ‘crisis’ for SBG is ‘somewhat self-inflicted’ because in 2015 an improperly secured crane at an SBG worksite toppled over and killed 107 people in Mecca. After that the Saudi government backed off considering SBG bids.
Bin Laden family’s huge company faces its worst crisis since 9/11
A vast multinational construction conglomerate run by Osama bin Laden’s brother and founded by his father is facing street protests after it failed to pay wages to tens of thousands of its employees for months.
On Saturday, seven buses were torched in the holy city of Mecca by non-Saudi workers who were part of the 77,000 foreign workers the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) announced it will be sacking, almost half of its total workforce. The protests add to mounting pressure on the company to pay an estimated $660 million in back wages to large groups of foreign workers as well as 12,000 Saudi nationals, all of whom have been asked to “resign or wait.” All employees waiting for wages have been promised a two-month bonus should they stick it out.
The company was sued after 9/11 by survivors, family and insurance carriers of the 9/11 victims. The company said it had broken off ties to Osama years earlier. The plantiffs sued the Saudi Binladin Group for damages saying SBG helped fund militant activities. A Manhattan federal court judge, George Daniels, ruled against them saying the court had no jurisdiction.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, multiple families of victims brought lawsuits against the company, alleging that Osama bin Laden received significant financial support from the company before he was removed as a shareholder in 1993. Osama bin Laden used a hefty family inheritance to help build al-Qaeda in the 1990s, but U.S. courts said they did not have jurisdiction over SBG as it did not have a unit that operated in the United States.
The current crisis is much more painful for the company, however. In an interview with MarketWatch, an unnamed creditor of SBG who works at a “major regional bank” said: “In a way, this is the government saying to them: You’ve become obscenely rich during the past 20 years, but for the first time, the kingdom has bigger problems to contend with.”
Can’t really muster up any sympathy for what the Washington Post thinks is a painful crisis for the bin Ladens.
Waiting for those 28 pages.
Talk about poetic justice.
Enjoyable, yes, but not as fun as sending an armed contingent into Ryadh to discuss 9/11.