Singapore — The majority of the workers laid off by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) last month were foreigners, leading to an increase in the share of local workers at RWS, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a statement on Thursday (Aug 6).
One of the largest private-sector companies in Singapore, RWS disclosed in mid-July that it was laying off workers as part of cost-cutting measures brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a channelnewsasia.com report, Genting Singapore, the entity which owns the resort, declined to give a definite number of employees being retrenched. As of 2019, RWS had more than 7,000 full-time employees.
“The global Covid-19 pandemic has brought about challenging economic times globally, generating a devastating impact on the tourism industry,” said RWS in a statement. “In this latest round of review, we have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalisation. This decision was made after a thorough process of careful deliberation and consultation.” It noted the course of action would help the company prepare for recovery of the tourism sector post-Covid-19.
Furthermore, the resort had eliminated non-essential spending and cut management payroll by up to 30 per cent.
The MOM reviewed the decision and noted that a majority of staff being retrenched were foreigners, resulting in an increased share of local workers from 66 per cent to 75 per cent. Local workers were also given preference in being retained during instances when performances compared to foreign workers were at par.
“In fact, for each category of workers, the foreign employee had to have a higher performance rating compared to the local employee, in order not to be retrenched,” said MOM.
RWS also confirmed it gave “added consideration” to keep local staff who had volunteered to work at the Covid-19 community care facility established by the company in April.
Firms will continue to be monitored, with a focus on workers being retrenched through unfair practices, said MOM. “We remind employers to treat all workers with dignity and respect, and for the management to share the burden of cutting costs in order to save jobs.”
There was concerned and supportive reaction online to the retrenchment.