Updated: 01/22/2014 21:17

More workers retrenched last year

More workers retrenched last year

The Labour Movement says almost 2,898 workers were displaced from their jobs last year. 

Of this 65 per cent are Singaporeans. 

NTUC says the total number retrenched is 76 per cent higher compared to 2012. 

The manufacturing sector accounted for 91 per cent of the total retrenchments in the unionized sector, primarily from the electronics, chemical and precision industries. 

Reasons for the layoffs include relocation of operation out of Singapore, or shutting down of production facilities. 

Four in 10 workers retrenched last year, lost their jobs due to ongoing company restructuring and shifting of production to other countries such as Malaysia, China and Vietnam. 

One example is HGST, a Western Digital company, which retrenched some 531 workers in December last year as the company shifted operations out of Singapore to Thailand and China. 

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong says the Labour Movement has been urging the government to make Singapore's business environment more competitive. 

"Well we have always been urging, together with the employers, the government to make the costs affordable for businesses. I think there are a lot of costs that are managed by the government. In some cases, rental, electricity and utilities. These are some areas where they feel very hard hit and these are also some of the reasons why some companies move out of Singapore."

Production, manual workers and technicians formed two thirds of all displaced workers in the unionized sector. 

PMEs made up one quarter of the retrenched workforce in the past three years. 

NTUC says the first quarter of 2014 may see retrenchments affecting about 200 workers in the electronics sector.

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