Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

Workers can expect 4-5 per cent pay rise, but chemical sector may see layoffs: NTUC

Published on Jan 22, 2014 12:16 PM

THE chemical industry has been flagged out as a sector which may see retrenchments this year due to spiralling costs.

This is alarming because it is a high value-added sector of the economy, whereas retrenchments so far have tended to be in the lower value-added industries like low-cost manufacturing.

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong, who spoke at a press conference on the outlook for the job market this year on Wednesday, warned that rising costs of rent and utilities may push chemical firms out of Singapore, adding to layoffs which have spiked in the past year.

Figures show that 2,898 workers from unionised companies lost their jobs last year, up from 1,647 workers in 2012. Most of the retrenched workers were employed by manufacturing firms which moved operations to lower-cost destinations like Malaysia, China and Vietnam.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!