Panasonic to lay off 700 workers, but keep R&D in Singapore, Singapore latest news

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Electronics giant Panasonic is shutting down its refrigeration compressor manufacturing operations in Singapore, leading to the layoff of some 700 workers.

However, its global headquarters for refrigeration compressor and research and development activities will remain here, it said in a statement yesterday.

Singapore remains a regional and important hub for the conglomerate, with its group of companies continuing to employ more than 1,400 people in various industries.

Layoffs account for about a third of its total workforce here, where the Japanese firm is headquartered in Asia-Pacific.

The move comes amid the difficult global business outlook and following the company’s strategic review of its refrigeration compressor business portfolio, Panasonic said.

Affected employees, who work in roles such as production control and process engineering, were briefed yesterday in four separate 45-minute sessions.

About half of these workers are Singaporeans, while 13 percent are permanent residents.

LAST DAY

The last working day for the first group of laid-off workers will be March 31 of next year, while the last day for the second group of affected workers will be September 30 of next year.

Panasonic has announced that it will consolidate compressor manufacturing operations at its existing facilities in Malaysia and China.

Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) was established in 1972 and currently produces compressors for household refrigerators and freezers at its facilities in Bedok South Road and Gul Road.

The company said it was working closely with government agencies, relevant authorities and the United Workers of Electronics and Electrical Industries union to ensure that all affected staff are well supported during this time, including helping to find a job.

Mr. Khoo Chew Thong, consultant for R&D and quality administration at PAPRDSG, told the Straits Times that about 60% of dismissed employees are 50 years or older, and 30% are between 30 and 50 years old.

PAPRDSG has around 760 employees, 12 percent of whom are based at the Gul Road factory.


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