Retrenched RWS staff mostly foreigners: MOM

Foreigners bore the brunt of last month's retrenchment exercise at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), with the integrated resort making efforts to cut costs and management salaries before it laid off workers, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.

Before the retrenchment, local workers formed about 66 per cent of the staff. After the layoffs, the proportion increased to 75 per cent.

"Overall, after the retrenchment exercise, RWS has a stronger Singaporean core," said the ministry, responding to queries on the laying off of about 2,000 RWS employees.

"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," said the MOM.

It also said RWS gave added consideration to retain local employees who volunteered to work at the community care facility set up by RWS in April to help in the fight against Covid-19.

Some affected workers had voiced concerns and sought help from MOM and the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union. They asked if RWS had considered other options besides retrenchment, expressed concerns over the retrenchment benefits quantum, and wanted to know if RWS had retained foreigners at the expense of local employees.

MOM said that prior to the retrenchment exercise, RWS worked closely with the union to ensure that the exercise would be carried out fairly and responsibly according to the tripartite advisories.

On the retrenchment benefits paid, MOM said RWS had adhered to ministry guidelines on such matters, noting that the payment of half a month's salary per year of service for those retrenched and eligible for the payout is within tripartite guidelines.

Based on information provided by RWS, MOM said the integrated resort had made efforts to cut non-essential spending and reduced management salaries by up to 30 per cent.

  • 75% Proportion of RWS staff that is made up of local workers after the retrenchment exercise.

    66% Proportion of local staff before the exercise.

The ministry said it will continue to monitor unfair practices among companies conducting retrenchments and reminded employers to treat all workers with dignity and respect, as well as for management to share the burden of cutting costs to save jobs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2020, with the headline 'Retrenched RWS staff mostly foreigners: MOM'. Subscribe