Singapore

Millennium Hotels and Resorts sheds 159 jobs

Millennium Hotels and Resorts will cut 159 jobs - or 15.2 per cent of its headcount here - as part of a review of its local office and hotel operations amid the pandemic-induced downturn.

"This is a difficult but inevitable move," said a company statement yesterday.

"The global pandemic and economic fallout have hit the hotels hard."

The latest retrenchments come after the number of foreign employees in the company had been cut from 520 to 379 since January - a reduction of 37 per cent.

It noted yesterday that about one-third of the company's hotels globally are temporarily closed while "those that remained open were operating at much lower occupancies than before".

The downturn has hit operations and performance hard, added the company, which has already tightened expenditure across the company, including reducing salaries for senior management by up to 30 per cent.

The retrenchments will affect a higher percentage of foreigners compared with Singaporeans, the company statement said. The layoffs announced yesterday include axing a further 42 foreign staff.

"This will bring our Singapore core from 61 per cent in January to 69 per cent," the company said.

LAST RESORT

The group has six hotels here: Orchard Hotel Singapore in Orchard Road, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and Copthorne King's Hotel in Havelock Road, M Hotel in Anson Road, and Studio M Hotel and M Social Singapore in Robertson Quay.

Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union general secretary Tan Hock Soon said the union had been working with Millennium Hotels and Resorts "to implement cost-saving measures, comprising redesigning of jobs, training and redeploying of workers, and carrying out group-wide wage reduction".

But "even with the cost-saving measures in place, (the company) still suffered losses globally and locally, and had to turn to retrenchment as the last resort", he said.

The company will provide "eligible represented workers with a retrenchment benefit of one month per year of service, advance notice or salary in lieu of notice as provided for under the collective agreements", Mr Tan said.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts said it plans to use part of the Government's wage subsidy scheme for Singaporeans to invest in its talent pool as the economy continues to recover.

Mr John Tan, its vice-president of human resources for South-east Asia, said the business "will take time to return to pre-Covid-19 levels, thus the rationalisation is unavoidable" for it to remain viable for employees and stakeholders.

"In addition to the severance package, we will be working with (the union), e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and Workforce Singapore on providing job assistance and support."

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