This morning MediaCorp announced that 33 of its employees would be laid off as part of a recent overhaul of its operations.
This comes as part of the major restructuring which MediaCorp announced in the earlier part of the year.
MediaCorp Chief Executive Officer Shaun Seow said in a statement that the company had been “unable to redeploy them”, an outcome that left him with “a heavy heart”.
Shortly after the news broke, the Singapore Union of Broadcasting Employees (SUBE) issued a statement which stated that “after many rounds of negotiations with MediaCorp, the company has committed to SUBE that there will be fair compensation and treatment of the affected employees.”
SUBE is an NTUC-affiliated union which represents the unionised employees of MediaCorp.
But here’s why I think MediaCorp could have done more for its affected employees.
Imagine, if not for the union’s involvement, would the severance package be fair and equitable? Would there be a possibility that no severance package be offered at all?
The union’s statement also lists down a number of other benefits that come about from the negotiations with the management. Again, why were these additional benefits only a result of many rounds of further negotiation? Could the company not have given such benefits out of goodwill even without the intervention of the union?
Yes, offering retrenchment packages eats into the Profit and Loss of a business’ operations. But perhaps the company could have been more sincere and consider the years of dedicated service of its employees when it decided on the retrenchment package to be offered.
I believe it was really fortunate that there was a union to be a representative of the workers that the affected employees could get a better retrenchment package
Honestly, as with other retrenchment cases, it could have been worse off if there wasn’t a union to be the voice for the workers in negotiating for better benefits with the management.
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