Singapore—In a statement on Thursday (Aug 6), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that the majority of the retrenched employees at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in July were foreigners. RWS had also endeavoured to cut costs and management salaries before it retrenched the workers.
Around 2,000 people have been laid off.
Before the lay-offs, RWS’ local workforce was at 66 percent, and now it is at 75 percent.
According to MOM, “Overall, after the retrenchment exercise, RWS has a stronger Singaporean core. In all instances where a foreign employee and local employee had the same performance grade, preference was given to the local to be retained. 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.”
Additional consideration had also been given to keeping the local employees who had served as volunteers at the community care facility set up by RWS four months ago.
MOM assured the retrenched workers, some of whom had reached out to the ministry as well as to the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union (AREU) to see if other measures had been explored by RWS before the retrenchments, that RWS had indeed worked with AREU in an effort to carry out the layoffs fairly and responsibly.
The ministry added, “Given the adverse impact on its business, RWS’ payment of 0.5 month per year of service for those who were retrenched and eligible for retrenchment benefit is within the limits of the tripartite guidelines for all firms in similar circumstances.”
RWS has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to MOM “with sharp declines in the flow of visitors to its casino and attractions”.
Moreover, “business volume is unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels for the foreseeable future.”
People commenting on MOM’s statement asked why there had been so many foreign workers at RWS in the first place.
But some netizens were pleased with the news.
One person even said that jobs should be “100% local.”
Others believe that when the economy bounces back, foreigners will be given good jobs again.