Viral photos of a worker wearing a hand-sanitizer dispenser in Saudi oil giant Aramco’s offices slammed as ‘racist’.

The company said it 'immediately stopped this act and took strict measures to prevent it from happening again' [File: Hamad Mohammed/Reuters]
The company said it ‘immediately stopped this act and took strict measures to prevent it from happening again’ [File: Hamad Mohammed/Reuters]

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has come under fire after photos showing one of its migrant workers wearing a surgical mask and a large hand-sanitiser dispenser went viral on social media.

Twitter users described the images posted on Tuesday as “racist” and “classist” as the worker appeared to be walking around distributing sanitiser to staff members inside and outside one of its buildings.

qatar airways

One Twitter user, commenting on the images, said: “Gulf classism. A gift from Aramco”.

هشام فقيه

@HishamFageeh

طبقية خليجية
اهداء من أرامكو

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While some described the move as slavery “repackaged”, others said the person behind the idea needed to “sani their brain”.

Naser@NaserMestarihi

Slavery was never abolished here, just repackaged. https://twitter.com/hishamfageeh/status/1237406453175996417 

هشام فقيه

@HishamFageeh

طبقية خليجية
اهداء من أرامكو

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1,601 people are talking about this

هشام فقيه

@HishamFageeh

طبقية خليجية
اهداء من أرامكو

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مرزوقه|كود نمشي MARJ2@mrz_4l

صاحب الفكره محتاج تعقيم لدماغه

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In a statement released later on Tuesday, the company expressed its “strong dissatisfaction with this abusive behavior that was used to emphasize the importance of sanitization, without the approval of the company’s concerned party”.

“The company immediately stopped this act and took strict measures to prevent it from happening again,” the statement said.

In response to Aramco’s statement, a Twitter user said the company needed to apologize to the “person himself” not to the public.

أرامكو

@Saudi_Aramco

وقد قامت الشركة على الفور بإيقاف هذا الفعل واتخاذ إجراءات صارمة تحول دون تكراره.
وتؤكّد الشركة حزمها ضد المساس بقيمها المبنية على الاحترام والتمسك بأخلاقيات السلوك والتعامل.

خـالـد@khaled_alsahmi

لاتعتذروا لنا اعتذروا من الشخص نفسه وكرموه وانشروا صور تكريمه ،،، وصاحب الفكره اللي ماخاف ربي ولا احترم العامل لبسوه التعقيم وخلوه يلف الشركه يوم كامل .

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Translation: “Don’t apologise to us, apologise to the person himself, honour him and post a picture of it … The one behind the idea, who did not fear God or respect the worker, make him wear the dispenser and walk around the company for an entire day.”

Saudi Arabia has been slammed for its human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

They make up a large chunk of the workforce across the region, which includes the Gulf Cooperation Council bloc of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

Another user said an apology is not enough and called for accountability.

أرامكو

@Saudi_Aramco

وقد قامت الشركة على الفور بإيقاف هذا الفعل واتخاذ إجراءات صارمة تحول دون تكراره.
وتؤكّد الشركة حزمها ضد المساس بقيمها المبنية على الاحترام والتمسك بأخلاقيات السلوك والتعامل.

اللُجين🤍@looletaa2

الإعتذار لم و لن يكفي ،و يجب معاقبة صاحب الفكرة وتعويض العامل مادياً ومعنوياً .. مشاعر الناس مش لعبة بيدكم!

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Translation: “Apologising is not enough, the person behind the idea needs to be punished, and the worker needs to be compensated financially and emotionally … people’s feelings are not a toy.”

In December 2019, Aramco’s record initial public offering gave it a price tag of $1.7 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable company.

But its shares have fallen more than 11 percent since the start of the year amid concerns the new coronavirus outbreak will slow oil demand from China and hurt the global economy.

The coronavirus outbreak has continued to spread across at least 100 countries. According to the World Health Organization, more than 118,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed globally, and more than 4,200 deaths have been recorded.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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