one of the most powerful companies on the planet has had to apologize after images of a foreign state oil worker dressed as a disinfectant dispenser went viral.
In the images, the worker, who was in the lobby of the headquarters of the oil giant Saudi Aramco, is dressed in a mask and carrying a box with the words “hand sanitizer” written on it, as well as a real dispenser, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The human hand sanitizer images were widely criticized on Twitter as exploitative and racist, and reflect another example of employees who have been abused in Saudi Arabia, a country that has been plagued by scandals surrounding systematic mistreatment of its migrant workers.
In response, Saudi Aramco has issued a statement in which it apologizes (not to the protagonist of this story) and assures that the management did not know about this practice or approved it. “The company has immediately ended this action and has taken drastic measures to prevent it from happening again,” says the oil company, while recalling its commitment to raise awareness of COVID-19 among its employees.
There are 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, which has taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus by banning religious gatherings in mosques and suspending travel to and from 14 provinces.