Thursday, 13 November 2008

Retrenchment - last resort

I read this article with a heavy heart, I felt sorry for those that will be facing retrenchment.

I fear for not only themselves but their families because almost 50% of them are Singaporeans. Our country's biggest bank in assets is retrenching despite having a decent profit of S$379 million!

Today, the affected personnel were handed layoff letters. Most of them were from the upper management.

I'm saddened by the fact that DBS, the bank that most Singaporeans had an account with, is the first to retrench. This is a bank that had acquired POSB in 1998. The POSB that we all know so well, the bank that grew up with a lot of us. Remember the squirrel in the advertisements that taught us to save for a rainy day? Remember the big key on your first passbook?

The implications that this retrenchment brought about is to me, going to be pretty bad. Being the largest and the first to retrench it gives the others the reason to do so.

"If DBS have to retrench, we as the no. 2, 3, or 4 player, will have to do so..."

Even if it may not be as bad, some companies may take the opportunity to. What's even worse is, this group of people will have great difficulty looking for other jobs because whether you like it a not, many companies are now working on 'contract' basis or foreign workers!

I know of a few off-shore/ foreign banks in Singapore,that had started to retrench approximately 10-20 staffs. I'm not surprise if the trend continues.

Why did DBS not use the MVC mechanism first to cope with the downturn in business?

What about other methods like freezing employment or cutting bonuses?

Why add to the rate of unemployment?

Retrenchment should be the last resort!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This show that our gov link inc hv no compassion for the ordinary employees. Few years back PSA had done the same. I'm sure when everything back to normal in 2 to 3 years time they will start to employ FT instead of local which to them is cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Why add to the unemployment rate? Do you think these guys care about that more then their year-end big fat angbaos handouts?

The corporate world is a dark, damp and disgusting place to be, where denizens of the most heartless dwell.

Segment that into the banking industry, and you just got yourself one of the darkest and moral-forsaken places on earth.

They would have done it earlier if they could, what was just holding them back is the stoic Asian culture and roots of our local banks. But as DBS, with its angmoh head, leads the way to demolish this dam of ethics, it has also just told the rest of its compatriots:

"Let's do it. Before the end of the year."

Retrenching staff just happens to be one of the fastest, and more direct way to skyrocket your profits. With just 1-2 months away, is any retraining, reshuffling, or any crap attempts going to meet the cut-off for bonus payouts as timely as retrenchment?

Mostly retrenched are upper management?

Perhaps someone should look into how true that really is.

Anonymous said...

They talk about using retrenchment as a last resort, but DBS obviously does not believe in such bullshit. What has the Union been doing? I guess they are going to sing the same old song about Singaporeans losing more jobs if DBS does not resort to retrenchments now. And, by the way, when employees work on a yearly contract basis, the Union will soon be redundant, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Although a commercial bank like The Development Bank of Singapore is all along a profitable business, it is too connected to the ruling government for it not to be morally and socially responsible to its staff.
Retrenchment is a blunt tool which DBS has unfortunately exercised and in the process, the bank has DAMAGED its reputation.
It deserves a new name, The Damaged Bank of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

DBS is in for a very rough ride, I think there are something bigger and worser which has not been announced yet. Better now put your money in some other place instead of a Damaged Bank of Singapore

Anonymous said...

UOB - is said to be still recruiting
OCBC - freeze recruitment
DBS (biggest) - RETRENCH! Its indeed very demoralizing

Anonymous said...

The sadder part is that they didn't even bother to make a show of consulting the unions. So what if the union chief is a cabinet minister.

singaporeshortstories.blogspot.com said...

Ya, I agreed with you, Ms Lee that it is the most regrettable thing for DBS to just sack the 900 staff.

The bank's efforts to cost cut meant a lot of difference to the families of those retrenched.

And the unemployment rate will be increased if companies follow the footsteps of DBS to just sack without much consulation with unions and exploration of other alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Heard that other another local bank is also planning to release staff as well. There will be more retrenchment.

Anonymous said...

It's approaching two years since this event. I wonder how many of those 'let go' finally got a better job?

also the bank's current headcount is just about 5% shy of that 2008 level

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