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“We were promised when we were red from our jobs that the money will be credited to our accounts in two months. But
none of us have got the money,” Anilkumar alleges. The employees used to work in various parts of Saudi Arabia. Much of
the ire is directed against B Ravi Pillai, a billionaire Non Resident Kerala (NRK) businessman who hails from Kollam in
Kerala, and was the Managing Director of the company. Ravi Pillai is also one of the directors of NORKA (Non Resident
Keralites Affairs) Roots, the body which takes care of the grievances of NRKs. NSH however says that Ravi Pillai ceased to
be a Managing Director in 2014 and he is being targeted by vested interests. It is unclear what role he plays in the Saudi
based company now.
The company has denied allegations that they terminated people indiscriminately and issued a statement to TNM. “It was
highly challenging for us to handle the emotional sensitivity of a large number of employees who desperately wanted to go
home to meet their family members. We put our best effort, consistently requested all authorities at all levels and spent a
huge amount of money to arrange chartered ights to ensure that the demand of our employees is met. Many of them are
now waiting to come back once the situation becomes normal. As far as ‘end of service’ bene ts are concerned, like every
large organization, there is a very well established, time tested process and system in place, which has been working for
almost 45 years. Besides, there are proper rules and regulations enforced by the Government of the country which no one
can deviate from.”
The company also maintains that all salaries and other bene ts were paid even during the pandemic as per the laws of
Saudi Arabia. “We never utilized even the Government directives of salary deduction during the pandemic, but rather paid
full salary even when they were staying in their accommodations,” the company said. However, LBB says that they have
enough complaints to establish a pattern.

Numerous complaints allegedly unaddressed
In January this year, 31 employees led a complaint with LBB. By February, the total number rose to 660. On January 30,
161 of the 660 employees staged a protest in front of Ravil Pillai’s residence in Kollam. The workers also gathered in front
of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram to protest on February 10, but many were detained even as they were travelling
from Kollam to the capital city to attend the protest.
“We led a complaint with the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader in November last year. We had also led
complaints with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Kollam MP Premachandran. Now we are planning to le a
complaint with the Prime Minister,” Anilkumar, a native of Nedumankav in Kollam, adds.
"We had led a Public Interest Litigation with the Kerala High Court seeking a redressal mechanism for employees getting
laid off. The Court ordered that the workers can make use of redressal platforms. It was post this judgement that we began
to receive scores of complaints on labour law violations. And most of the complaints were regarding NSH," Advocate
Subhash Chandran, convenor of LBB, tells TNM. According to him, more than 660 complaints have been received against
NSH from 12 states, including Kerala.
The LBB had forwarded around 286 complaints which they received initially to the Kerala Chief Minister, Ministry of
External Affairs, and the Indian Ambassador in Saudi. The network later received 198 complaints which they also forwarded
to all those mentioned above

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