RWS retrenches almost 400 staff

by Miklos Bolza10 Jun 2016
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has had to let go of almost 400 casino employees, TODAY reports. The headcount reduction stems from lower numbers of Chinese high rollers visiting the casino, prevented by both President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption and a general slowdown in the Chinese economy.
 
The paper said that around 150 croupiers, 200 supervisors and 25 pit managers were affected. The casino currently employs approximately 12,000 staff.
 
A pit manager who was retrenched talked to TODAY about what happened.
 
“RWS first offered us a voluntary retrenchment scheme with a package of half a month’s salary for every year of service. Whoever wanted to volunteer, they just give it to them first,” he said. “After that, they informed us they would be firing some of us in one week’s time.”
 
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had declined the voluntary retrenchment package offered in May and was then dismissed on Thursday (9 June). RWS began handing out notices of termination on Monday (6 June), he added.
 
The pit manager said he was given a severance package of over $35,000 for his six years of service with the organisation.
 
A retrenchment letter seen by TODAY attributed the redundancies to difficulties being faced by the casino.
 
“In anticipation that the business situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon, we have made a very difficult decision to reduce manpower,” the document said.
 
A resort spokesperson said the firm was in the process of reviewing its operational resources.
 
“With the current business environment, it is necessary for RWS to review the headcount in its gaming business so that it can achieve the right size to meet its business needs,” they told TODAY.
 
In a joint statement with the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union (AREU), RWS said they had been cooperating to ensure fair compensation for all affected staff members.
 
“Together with NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), AREU will work closely with RWS to provide training and job placement assistance for affected employees,” Desmond Choo, executive secretary at AREU, told TODAY.
 
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it had been informed of the retrenchments and had notified RWS of the revised TAFEP guidelines for retrenchment announced last month.
 
“Together with Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), MOM is working closely with both the company and union to render assistance to the affected employees,” a spokesperson said.

Image by ProjectManhattan - Own work / CC BY-SA 3.0
 
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