Resorts World Sentosa under fire for ‘discriminatory’ retrenchments

by Lucy Hook01 Aug 2016
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating the layoffs of around 400 employees by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), in a recent retrenchment exercise that has led to allegations of discrimination and unfair dismissals.
 
RWS, which has around 12,000 employees, began laying off workers from its casino operations in May after a slowdown in business, dismissing 150 croupiers, 200 supervisors and two dozen pit managers, Today reported.
 
Former employees have since been filing complaints and appeals accusing RWS of discriminatory practices, unfair dismissals and inadequate compensation, with some claiming that Singaporeans in particular were discriminated against as foreign workers were ‘retained and even sought after’, according to Today.
 
One appellant claimed that some workers werefired on the spot without any satisfactory explanation on how individuals were chosen for the job cuts.”
 
The MOM is following up on a number of cases, which are said to be from former employees covered under the Employment Act who were paid less than SG$4,500 per month.
 
A number of the former employees’ appeals have been dismissed on various grounds.
 
A spokesperson for the MOM told Today that it is looking into the feedback received about the retrenchment exercise at RWS, adding that it was “waiting for the company’s response on how they have conducted the retrenchment exercise and their decision-making process on deriving the list of employees to be retrenched”. 
 
A spokesperson for RWS told HRD:
 
“We would like to reiterate that Resorts World Sentosa has worked closely with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union to extend fair terms to all affected employees.
 
“We have also adopted the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower to ensure the retrenchment is carried out in a responsible, transparent and sensitive manner.
 
“Affected employees are offered various forms of support including training grant, funding of union membership and job placement assistance. We will continue to engage with MOM to facilitate any clarification, if necessary.”
 
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