RWS retrenches staff to cope with 'devastating' Covid-19 fallout

Retrenched staff from Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) carrying black bags containing a folder with their employment details and testimonials at VivoCity mall yesterday. RWS declined to specify how many staff were laid off.
Retrenched staff from Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) carrying black bags containing a folder with their employment details and testimonials at VivoCity mall yesterday. RWS declined to specify how many staff were laid off.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Integrated resort operator Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is laying off a significant number of employees as it grapples with the "devastating impact" the coronavirus pandemic has had on the tourism industry.

RWS said yesterday the retrenchment exercise was a "one-off workplace rationalisation" and that the company has managed to retain the vast majority of its local staff.

It is understood that about 2,000 employees were laid off, but when asked, RWS did not want to confirm any figure.

The firm has about 7,000 employees as of the end of last year.

RWS added that all affected staff will get fair compensation. It is working with the Government and various agencies to help them find new jobs.

RWS said the decision was made after a thorough process of careful deliberation and consultation.

Tourism worldwide has been hard hit by the pandemic as countries, including Singapore, imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Noting the pandemic's impact on tourism has been devastating, RWS said: "Its pervasive and lasting effects will accelerate shifts in the tourism industry that require significant adjustments by all travel and tourism players.

"RWS will begin the journey to adapt and transform as we stand united with Singapore to weather this crisis and prepare for the recovery of Singapore's tourism."

 
 

It added that it has been streamlining its operational resources to stay agile and respond quickly to situations in the current unpredictable climate.

"Over the past few months, we have reviewed all costs, eliminated non-essential spending and reduced the salaries of management by up to 30 per cent," said RWS.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2020, with the headline 'RWS retrenches staff to cope with 'devastating' Covid-19 fallout'. Subscribe