Panasonic to lay off 700 employees in Singapore

The company promised they're working closely with employee

Panasonic to lay off 700 employees in Singapore

Seven-hundred employees in Panasonic Singapore are set to lose their jobs next year after the electronics giant announced they’ll stop manufacturing refrigeration compressors by the end of September 2022.

Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) cited a "challenging global business outlook" behind they’re decision, which came after a long-term business strategic review of the refrigeration compressor business portfolio. A total of 700 employees are expected to be laid off following Panasonic's decision. The Straits Times reported that the first batch will be retrenched on March 31, while the second batch will be on September 30.

Khoo Chew Thong, PAPRDSG's adviser for R&D and quality administration, told The Straits Times that 60% of the laid off workers are aged 50 and older, while 30% are between 30 and 50 years old. Around half are also Singaporeans, while 13% are permanent residents.

Read more: Panasonic probes manager for alleged threatening to fire staff

One-to-one sessions will also be held with the affected employees in the coming weeks, according to Khoo, adding that re-deployment may be possible in other Panasonic companies in Singapore, but it will depend on the business divisions and job fits.

"We are working very closely with the relevant authorities, government agencies, and United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries (UWEEI) to ensure all affected employees are well-supported during this transition, including assisting with job placements," said the company in a statement.

UWEII Singapore said that it will also continue working with PAPRDSG closely to ensure that affected employees will receive their retrenchment benefits, as well as other necessary assistance and support.

Read more: Retrenchment masterclass: What HRDs need to know

"The livelihoods of our workers impacted by the exercise remains our priority. UWEEI has been working closely with NTUC's (National Trades Union Congress) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and EDB (Economic Development Board) to provide job placement assistance to affected employees.

"The union is also working with other unionised companies that may have vacancies in the same or adjacent sectors," it added.

Panasonic said that it will consolidate its compressor manufacturing operations in Malaysia and China but assured that its global headquarters for the refrigeration compressor business and research and development (R&D) will stay in Singapore.

"The Panasonic group in Singapore will continue to have more than 1,400 employees across various business domains, including high-value manufacturing, R&D, and our Asia Pacific Headquarters. We will continue to invest in Singapore to support our growth strategies in the high-value supply chain and continue contributing to the communities in the Asia-Pacific and beyond," it said in its statement.

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