Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has launched an investigation over the recent casino job cuts at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
In June, RWS handed out walking papers to nearly 400 of its 12,000-strong staff as China’s corruption crackdown started taking a bit out of the integrated resort’s gaming revenue.
MOM officials, however, announced they are investigating complaints from the laid off RWS employees, who alleged “discriminatory practices, unfair dismissals as well as inadequate compensation” by the casino, Today Online reported.
To be fair, the ministry said it already tossed out “some appeals” on “various grounds,” but the remaining cases that MOM is examining are for former casino workers who earned below SGD4,500 (USD3,333) per month, and were therefore covered by the Singapore Employment Act.
Ex-RWS employees are also accusing the integrated resort of favoring foreigner workers over locals, pointing out that the company recently placed an ad in Malaysia “for casino staff with pay offered in Singapore dollar terms.”
One of the complainants was quoted by Today saying: “It is not fair for a company to fire Singaporeans and hire foreigners at lower Singapore dollar salaries… The advertisement was later pulled.”
“The MOM is currently looking into the feedback received, alleging discriminatory practices in the retrenchment exercise at RWS,” an MOM spokesperson told the Singaporean news outlet.
In an email to CalvinAyre.com, RWS clarified that the laid off workers were “offered various forms of support.”
“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,” an RWS spokesperson told CalvinAyre.com. “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.”
The integrated resort began laying off workers in February. At the time, at least 30 people bade farewell to their jobs at RWS as part of the company’s “annual team member performance review.”
Several months later, RWS sacked more casino employees, including 150 croupiers, 200 supervisors and 25 pit managers, in “anticipation that the business situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.”