esorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s biggest private sector employers, said on Wednesday it was laying off staff to cut costs as the coronavirus pandemic batters the city-state’s tourism industry. The company, owned by Genting Singapore Ltd, did not disclose how many jobs will be lost.
A spokesperson for Resorts World Sentosa said the firm had over 7,000 full-time employees at the end of 2019, but declined to comment on its current employment level, Hindustan Times reports. The Genting Singapore website says RWS is one of Singapore’s largest employers.
Resorts World Sentosa’s facilities, spread over 49 hectares, encompass a hotel, a casino and a Universal Studios theme park among other attractions. “We have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalisation,” it said in a statement.
A handful of staff outside the entrance to the casino on Wednesday afternoon told Reuters they had been called in to meet with the human resources department.
Singapore’s economy plunged into recession in the second quarter, shrinking a record 41% from the previous quarter, data showed on Tuesday, putting it on track for its deepest slump ever. The tourism industry, which contributes about 4% to the economy, has been one of the worst affected sectors due to travel restrictions and a lockdown that lasted more than two months to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Genting Malaysia resumed operations on June 19 after being shut for three months since March 18 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), implemented as a preventive measure by the federal government of Malaysia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Genting Singapore and Genting Malaysia are part of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad.
“Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourism industry is unprecedented, immediate, and immense,” Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress said in a statement on the job cuts. It added that it was working with Resorts World Sentosa on compensation terms, and would help affected employees with training and finding new jobs.