American multinational information technology company, IBM, is set to lay off about 600 local staff members as it plans to shut down its S$90 million Singapore Technology Park at Tampines, this July.
Last July, the global tech giant laid off hundreds of local employees as part of a restructuring exercise of its global technology services division. IBM reportedly intended to slash 10,000 staff members from its global workforce and “re-assign another 30,000 to new roles”.
IBM’s latest decision to shut down the Tampines plant and move its manufacturing operations back to the US is expected to cost up to 600 local jobs, according to TODAY Online. The firm declined to share the exact number of staff who will be laid off in Singapore.
The last batch of employees at the Tampines tech park are due to finish serving their notice by July, in time for the plant’s closure. According to TODAY, “at least 70 percent” of the staff members are due to leave even earlier, by the end of April.
Local staff were reportedly informed of the retrenchment exercise in the beginning of March, this year. Affected employees will be compensated with one month’s salary for each year of service while workers under IBM subcontractor Geodis are due to receive two weeks’ salary for each year of service.
The compensation IBM is offering workers is in line with the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) recommendations for companies to pay between two weeks and one month’s salary for each year of service as retrenchment benefits to workers who are laid off.
Retrenched workers are due to receive support from Workforce Singapore, NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute and the United Workers of Electronics and Electrical Industries.
IBM’s Singapore Technology Park, which was inaugurated by PAP heavyweight Tharman Shanmugaratnam in 2010, was touted as one of the world’s most technologically advanced manufacturing facilities.
Even though it is closing the plant and moving the manufacturing of its mainframe computers IBM Z to Poughkeepsie, New York, IBM assured that Singapore remains a strategic location, in a statement:
“IBM has been in Singapore for 66 years. It remains committed to being an essential part of its growth, and is working with many companies in Singapore to enhance its position as a worldwide innovation hub.”– /TISG