It is cognisance of the fact that Saudi Arabia has long been dealing with scandals related to the mistreatment of its several million migrant workers in the country.
Recently, Saudi Arabia state-owned oil company identified as Aramco has been forced to apologize for using one of its workers as a human stand for a hand sanitizing gel dispenser.
The oil giant drew severe criticism from all quarters this week after pictures of one of its employees wearing a bodysuit with a hand sanitizer attached and a medical mask on his face started doing the rounds on social media.
The foreign worker can be seen standing as a virtual stand as other employees use the gel dispenser which he is carrying. Although the main intention may have been to create awareness of the importance of cleaning your hands using sanitizer amid Covid-19 outbreak, the inhuman role was criticized.
“We hope that the individual who gave the orders to wear that thing as if he was a robot or a doll, controlling humans whichever way he wants, is punished severely,” one Twitter user commented.
“The picture is horrible, the worker must be compensated financially and morally,” another person added.
In fact, the photos triggered severe accusations of dehumanization of workers and also raised questions about the company’s treatment of foreign workers. The backlash forced Aramco to issue a public apology through its Arabic Twitter channel while adding that the act was organized without its approval. However, the company has yet to apologize to the foreign worker for systematic mistreatment.
“With regard to the image circulating on social media of a colleague dressed as a sterilization package in one of the facilities, Saudi Aramco would like to express their strong disappointment with this insulting behaviour which intended to place an emphasis on the importance of sterilization, without prior consent from the concerned party in the company,” the official statement read.
“The company halted this act immediately and has taken strict measures to prevent such action from happening again,” the Aramco statement added. “The company emphasizes its firm stance for policies that are based on respect and adherence to ethics and conduct.”