You know the economy is not doing well when oil companies get hit and begin cutting their staff headcount.
Shell is just one example. It began slashing 12,500 positions since last year. And its Chief Executive has warned that more jobs could be on the chopping board.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Ben van Beurden was asked if there could be more losses to come, his reply could not have been more bleak:
“There could be, absolutely. Much will depend on how the environment will continue to develop.”
In February this year, Shell reported its lowest annual income in at least 13 years.
But how will this piece of news affect us in Singapore. Surely, there would be some laying off of workers in Shell’s Singapore office.
According to some of the staff in Singapore, the retrenchment is likely to hit the Singapore office as well, and is mainly among the supporting functions and those in the executive levels.
NTUC’s Assistant Secretary General Patrick Tay said in a blogpost earlier in the year that he expects layoffs/retrenchment this year to affect more PMEs (Professionals, Managers and Executives) than before.
But PMEs need not worry, according to Tay who is also Director for NTUC’s U PME Centre, the Employment Act was amended in April 2014 to cover PMEs earning up to $4,500 to recourse through the Act, except Part IV of the Act which covers namely Hours of Work, Overtime and Retrenchment Benefits.
While it is the prerogative of the worker whether to join the union or not, Tay says he leaves it up to fellow PMEs “to decide if they want to take up union membership and shield themselves if not totally, at least partially for unpredictable eventualities.”