I don't like Saudi Arabia as much as anybody else, but honestly the article just seems really petty. Are there really no reasons at all to change to "Western" calendar other than the paycut?
Well, the change was introduced along with a broad range of initiatives to trim the Saudi budget and even Arab news outlets call it the same way.
Seems like an excessively large scale of operation just to slash for 11 days (in the whole year, so it amounts to 3-5% wage cut) wage off. Not to mention the symbolic implication for the muslim public to "submit" to the "Western" calendar.
I can't find anything about reaction from inside the KSA to this pay cut. They could have just announced a wage cut and kept the calendar, but if there was another rationale, it hasn't been enunciated yet.
Apparently more Saudis are employed by the Govt than the private sector.