With Covid-19, many companies around the world are taking extra precautions to take care of their workers.
This includes providing work-from-home options or replenishing supplies of face masks and hand sanitiser in the office.
However, one company in Saudi Arabia may have taken it too far.
Human sanitiser dispenser
On Mar. 10, this photo was posted on Twitter and it went viral subsequently:
طبقية خليجية— هشام فقيه (@HishamFageeh) March 10, 2020
اهداء من أرامكو pic.twitter.com/FpWsUNw7mE
The worker was photographed wearing a sandwich board with the words "Hand sanitiser" on it.
It was affixed with a functioning dispenser which apparently dispensed hand sanitiser.
This happened in the office of Saudi Aramco, an oil company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
With over 4,000 retweets and 8,000 likes, this image has caused much anger among many people.
Why are they treating a human being like this? This is not cool https://t.co/7l4v17zajc— pace (@hafeezpen) March 11, 2020
This is just wrong yaaar. Cheap labour doesn't meant u make them do such :/ https://t.co/rkJB56AJVa— Cycle Chain Sankar (@dakuwithchaku) March 11, 2020
So revolting https://t.co/gqUONyH05n— cha (@chaimolle) March 10, 2020
Some even called it an act of "classism" and "racism".
coronavirus has really brought out some disgusting classism and racism :( https://t.co/M6riaZkmFQ— BIRTHDAY GIRL RUQ ✨ (@ruqaiya_h) March 10, 2020
Wanted to show importance of hand sanitation
Following the fallout, Saudi Aramco responded via Twitter on Mar. 11.
According to its tweets, the company recognised that the act was "abusive" and said that it simply wanted to emphasise the importance of hand sanitation.
إشارة إلى الصور المتداولة في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لأحد الزملاء مرتدياً ما يشبه عبوة للتعقيم في أحد مرافقها، تود #أرامكو السعودية أن تعرب عن استيائها الشديد من هذا التصرف المسيء الذي أريد به التأكيد على أهمية التعقيم، دون أخذ موافقة من الجهة المعنية بالشركة.— أرامكو (@Saudi_Aramco) March 10, 2020
Here's a rough translation:
"In response to the viral photos of a colleague wearing a sterilisation in one of our facilities, Saudi Aramco would like to express our strong dissatisfaction with such abusive behaviour. We wanted to emphasise the importance of hand sanitation."
In another tweet, Saudi Aramco said that it has also stopped this rather peculiar way of dispensing hand sanitiser.
وقد قامت الشركة على الفور بإيقاف هذا الفعل واتخاذ إجراءات صارمة تحول دون تكراره.— أرامكو (@Saudi_Aramco) March 10, 2020
وتؤكّد الشركة حزمها ضد المساس بقيمها المبنية على الاحترام والتمسك بأخلاقيات السلوك والتعامل.
"With immediate effect, the company has stopped this act and has taken drastic measures to prevent it from happening again. The company would like to strongly emphasise that this is doesn't adhere to our values, ethics and conduct.
Top image from @hishamfageeh on Twitter.