Layoffs at RWS casino complex amid pandemic downturn

Layoffs at RWS casino complex amid pandemic downturn

Singapore gaming resort complex Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) said in a Wednesday statement that the property’s operator, Genting Singapore Ltd, had made “the difficult decision” to implement staff layoffs amid the tourism woes wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. It declined to specify how many jobs were involved, citing business and staff-member “confidentiality”.

“Over the past few months, we have reviewed all costs, eliminated non-essential spending, and reduced the salaries of management by up to 30 percent,” said Resorts World Sentosa in its Wednesday statement.

“In this latest round of review, we have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalisation.” It had been done after “careful deliberation and consultation,” the statement noted.

Resorts World Sentosa (pictured in a file photo), is one of Singapore’s two casino resorts. The other is Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Marina Bay Sands. The casino at each property reopened on July 1 to select patrons, with extra safety steps in place.

The two casinos had closed on April 7 as part of Singapore’s countermeasures against the spread of Covid-19. Reopening of non-gaming facilities at the two casino resorts started on June 19, as the city-state entered phase two of exit from its so-called “circuit-breaker” measures against the pandemic.

In its Wednesday statement, Resorts World Sentosa noted that it is working with Singapore’s trade unions and relevant government agencies to try to help laid off workers find new jobs. It claimed such efforts helped identify “at least two to three job opportunities … for every affected local team member.”

The casino resort said it consulted Singapore’s Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union, in an effort to “retain a vast majority of local staff”.

Resorts World Sentosa had flagged in March that the company was cutting pay for certain managerial staff, due to the “massive disruption to the travel and tourism industries” caused by the pandemic. The company also noted at the time that it had called for more-junior staff to take “either no-pay leave and-or annual leave”.

In its latest statement, Resorts World Sentosa said that it would try to “reinvent” itself to be a “more adept and nimble organisation” in the face of the global health crisis. It also affirmed its commitment to an expansion of the venue – referred as “RWS 2.0″ – that it had agreed with the Singapore government in April last year. The property also pledged to protect the “health, safety and well-being” of returning customers.

The resort said it would “redesign jobs across the resort with technological innovation enhancing day-to-day processes,” and would seek to “increase productivity and create jobs with better remuneration prospects”.

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