Singapore

Surbana Jurong: Sackings ‘could have been better managed'

Surbana Jurong working with unions to help 54 affected workers find jobs

Temasek Holdings-owned infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong, which was criticised for not following due process when it terminated the service of 54 workers, acknowledged yesterday that "the process could have been better managed".

In a joint statement with the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees' Union and Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees' Union (Batu), Surbana Jurong said it was working closely with the unions to provide an "equitable and mutually agreeable arrangement" for the affected workers and to help them find new jobs.

Surbana Jurong's management team met with the unions on Monday, said the statement.

"Moving forward, Surbana Jurong and the unions also made a commitment to work on strengthening labour management relations," it said.

Unionists last week had slammed the way the 54 staff had been dismissed earlier this month.

Some said that due process was not followed for the workers who are union members.

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In a Facebook post last Friday, Batu president Nasordin Mohd Hashim wrote: "Usually before a union member is terminated, the details of the case would be officially given to the union to ensure our members will be given fair treatment and that due process is followed."

But he said "this was not observed" in the Surbana Jurong case, adding that 18 of the 54 workers were union members.

His post was shared by National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari.

The posts came after the media reported a strongly worded e-mail in which Surbana Jurong group chief executive officer, Mr Wong Heang Fine, told staff that the dismissed workers were a small group of "poor performers" who could not be allowed to weigh down the rest of the organisation.

The 54 employees represented 0.41 per cent of Surbana Jurong's global workforce and 0.79 per cent of its Singapore staff.

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