TL;DR – One-third of Panasonic’s total workforce to be laid off.
On Thursday (23 Sep), electronics giant Panasonic company said in a statement that it will be shutting down its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in Singapore by end of Sep 2022.
While its global headquarters for the refrigeration compressor business and research and development (R&D) activities will remain in Singapore, some 700 workers are expected to be affected by the move.
Closes operations in Singapore due to challenging business outlook
The Japanese electronics company said that the decision to cease its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in Singapore comes amid the challenging global business outlook, as well as after the firm’s strategic review of its refrigeration compressor business portfolio.
With the cessation, it added that it will consolidate the compressor manufacturing operations in its existing facilities in Malaysia and China.
700 workers to be retrenched
According to Panasonic’s statement, 700 workers will be retrenched as a result of the closure. Half of these workers are Singaporean, while another 13 percent are permanent residents.
The last working day for the first batch of retrenched staff will be on March 31 next year, while the last day for the second and last batch of affected workers will be on September 30.
Reportedly, Panasonic is working closely with the relevant authorities, government agencies, and the United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries (UWEEI) to provide support and assistance with affected workers’ job placements.
Other than providing job placement assistance to retrenched workers, UWEEI also said that it will continue to work with the company to ensure that the workers are compensated with the retrenchment benefits stipulated in the collective agreement, which is “higher than industry norms”.
Typically, in unionised companies where the amount of retrenchment benefit is stated in the collective agreement, the norm is one month’s salary for each year of service.
Despite the closure of its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations, Panasonic stressed in a statement that Singapore remains a regional and important hub for the company, and it will continue to employ over 1,400 employees in areas such as high-value manufacturing, research, and development (R&D), as well as in Panasonic’s Asia Pacific Headquarters.