Despite rumours surrounding an impending retrenchment exercise, StarHub employees did not anticipate the telecommunications giant to slash as many as 300 of its workers.
Following the announcement of the company’s restructuring exercise on Wednesday (3 Oct), several StarHub staff members have expressed their apprehension over the news, fearing that they might be a part of the layoff.
One StarHub employee said to TODAY Online: “StarHub still is a profitable company. We still believe that StarHub can do better than downsizing,” he added.
He added that instead of downsizing, StarHub should reduce the salary of senior leadership staff in the company.
The StarHub employee also noted that the management has briefed them on the compensation package that they will receive in the event of retrenchment.
Compensation will be proportionate to the duration of their service at StarHub. For each year of their employment at StarHub, employees will receive a month’s worth of salary, in tandem with the framework set by the Ministry of Manpower.
StarHub will also transfer the affected employees to the subsidiaries of StarHub’s parent company, Asia Mobile Holdings, which is under investment firm Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia), according to the employee.
Another StarHub employee mentioned that while she has “mixed feelings” over the company’s decision, as it has an “impact (on) people’s lives,” she understands that StarHub has its reasons for deciding on letting go of such a huge number of staff.
Yet, one StarHub employee appears to be optimistic in spite of the retrenchment, highlighting that the exercise would not have been a surprise to those who have been keeping up with developments in the telecommunications industry.
“Whatever we are facing is exactly what other telcos are similarly facing. Looking at the trend, some people would have expected some moves will be taken by company to streamline,” added the employee.
A shift in consumer trends — shifting from prepaid mobile subscriptions to SIM-card only plans — has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the telecommunications sector, and StarHub is not exempt from the effects of this trend.
Singapore’s second-largest telecommunications company observed a decrease in its Q2 earnings this year by 22.8 per cent, compared to the same quarter a year ago.
Other StarHub employees appear to have a fatalistic outlook, saying that such retrenchment exercises are “not within (their) control”.