Resorts World, one of Singapore's biggest employers, cuts staff due to COVID-19

Credit: REUTERS/FELINE LIM

Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore's biggest private sector employers, on Wednesday said it was laying off staff to cut costs as the coronavirus pandemic batters the city-state's tourism industry.

Adds statements from company and union

SINGAPORE, July 15 (Reuters) - Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore's biggest private sector employers, on Wednesday said it was laying off staff to cut costs as the coronavirus pandemic batters the city-state's tourism industry.

The company, owned by Genting Singapore Ltd GENS.SI, did not disclose how many jobs will be lost, but the local Straits Times newspaper said the cuts were "significant".

Resorts World Sentosa employs 12,500 and its facilities, spread over 49 hectares, encompasses a hotel, a casino and a Universal Studios theme park among other attractions .

"We have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalisation," it said in a statement.

Singapore's economy plunged into recession in the second quarter, shrinking a record 41% from the previous quarter, data showed on Tuesday, putting it on track for its deepest slump ever.

The tourism industry, which contributes about 4% to Singapore's economy, has been one of the worst affected sectors due to travel restrictions and a lockdown that lasted more than two months to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the tourism industry is unprecedented, immediate, and immense," Singapore's National Trades Union Congress said in a statement on the job cuts.

It added that it was working with Resorts World Sentosa on compensation terms, and would help affected employees with training and finding new jobs.

The company had only announced last year it would invest about S$4.5 billion ($3.2 billion) to expand its tourist attractions in the city-state.

Shares of Genting Singapore, majority owned by Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad GENT.KL, were up about 1% in line with the broader market.

($1 = 1.3914 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie in Singapore; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

((aradhana.aravindan@thomsonreuters.com;))

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