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Resorts World Sentosa to lay off workers as Covid-19 takes a toll on the tourism industry

SINGAPORE — Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which operates casinos, the Universal Studios Singapore theme park and hotels on Sentosa Island, said on Wednesday (July 15) that it will be laying off workers due to the “devastating impact” the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry.

Resorts World Sentosa said that it had reviewed costs over the past few months and eliminated non-essential spending and reduced the salaries of those in management by up to 30 per cent.

Resorts World Sentosa said that it had reviewed costs over the past few months and eliminated non-essential spending and reduced the salaries of those in management by up to 30 per cent.

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SINGAPORE — Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which operates casinos, the Universal Studios Singapore theme park and hotels on Sentosa Island, said on Wednesday (July 15) that it will be laying off workers due to the “devastating impact” the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry.

In a media statement, RWS said that the company made this “difficult decision” to carry out this one-off retrenchment exercise after “a thorough process of careful deliberation and consultation”.

It declined to respond to TODAY’s queries on the number of staff members retrenched. 

“We fully understand the difficulty and anxiety this means to impacted team members and their families. RWS takes a long-term view of our manpower needs, including the consideration to maintain a strong Singaporean core,” it said in its statement.  

The integrated resort operator said that the retrenchments come after it had reviewed costs over the past few months and eliminated non-essential spending and reduced the salaries of those in management by up to 30 per cent.  

It said that it had also worked with the union to retain a vast majority of Singapore employees in this one-off retrenchment exercise.

This means working with the Ministry of Manpower, the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union and the Singapore National Employers Federation to ensure that the retrenchment exercise is carried out in a “responsible, transparents and sensitive manner”. 

When asked about how much compensation was offered, RWS declined to respond. It said in its statement that all affected workers were offered “fair compensation terms”. 

It added that it worked with several government agencies, such as Workforce Singapore, Public Service Division and SkillsFuture Singapore, as well as the Employment and Employability Institute under the labour movement, to help match relevant job openings for affected employees, based on their skills and experience. 

At least two to three job opportunities have been shortlisted for every retrenched staff members, the company said. 

In the face of challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, RWS said that it will reinvent its operations to be a more adept and nimble company by investing in technology, redesigning jobs and increasing productivity. 

“The global Covid-19 pandemic has brought about challenging economic times globally, generating a devastating impact on the tourism industry. Its pervasive and lasting effects will accelerate shifts in the tourism industry that require significant adjustments by all travel and tourism players.” 

In a separate statement, the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said that RWS had notified them in advance of their plans to lay off workers. 

“We held many discussions with RWS on minimising wage and labour-related cuts. RWS had fulfilled its obligations and workers were also assisted along the way… Retrenchment is therefore taken as a last resort,” the union and NTUC said. 

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Resorts World Sentosa retrench Covid-19 coronavirus

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