Recently, it was announced that Panasonic is shutting down its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in Singapore. Unfortunately, this will result in 700 employees to be retrenched.
In a Facebook post, PM Lee Hsien Loong said, “We are deeply grateful that Panasonic believed in Singapore and journeyed with us for the better part of our history. I personally had the pleasure of joining Panasonic to celebrate the production of their 100 millionth compressor globally in 1989.”
The factory that makes refrigeration compressors has been in Singapore since 1972. Since then, it has produced and shipped 285 million compressors all over the world.
When Singapore first started out, we were highly dependent on the trust of foreign countries to set up shop here. As these companies built their factories and companies here, they employed Singaporean workers and our economy grew.
Hence, we are definitely sad to hear news of the factory closing and that 700 people will be losing their jobs.
Importance of staying open and attracting global companies
The news of Panasonic closing its factory in Singapore goes to show the importance of staying open and competitive. It is a sad truth that employees lose jobs when these companies decide to close their businesses here. By attracting global companies to Singapore, we are also creating more jobs for Singaporeans.
Retrenched workers to receive help and be matched to jobs
After the announcement on Thursday, several union leaders and industrial relations officers were at the Panasonic plants to speak with the affected workers.
UWEEI has been working closely with e2i and the Economic Development Board to provide job placement assistance to retrenched workers. The e2i and WSG will offer career coaching and match retrenched workers to suitable jobs.
The union will continue working with the Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) to ensure that affected employees will receive support. PAPRDSG has committed to paying retrenched employees the retrenchment benefits in the collective agreement.
The retrenchment package of one month’s salary for each year of service is higher than industry norms. That is usually two weeks’ salary for each year of service.
We hope all retrenched workers will be quickly placed into their new jobs and not feel despondent over the news.