TL;DR

Who: DFS, Grab, Tuas mega port

Weekly Business Brief | 2019 Week 40

Wrapping up the week's business news and announcements.

SBO Singapore Weekly Business Brief
Published:   |   Updated:   |   Posted in

DFS offers retrenched employees better severance deal, but some say it’s not enough

Employees CNA spoke to said they were shocked and hurt by the sudden retrenchment, and felt that the updated terms of the severance package were still below expectations. 

Retrenched DFS Group employees were offered better severance packages on Wednesday (Oct 2), but some CNA spoke to remained critical of how the exercise was conducted.

The retrenched workers would receive two weeks’ salary for each year of service, capped at 13 years or the equivalent of 26 weeks’ pay. They could either serve out their notice period or be paid in lieu of notice.

This was more than the original offer of serving notice or payment in lieu of notice period, and a severance package capped at 13 weeks of pay, which the employees received when they were notified of the retrenchment on Thursday.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, a DFS spokesperson said the company has “made best efforts” to communicate its support in face-to-face meetings with affected staff.

DFS has increased its “engagement and dialogue with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) and the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation (TASKFORCE)”, said the spokesperson.

“We remain committed to carrying out this exercise in a fair and sensitive manner,” said DFS, adding that it had in a place a series of measures to assist affected staff.

Employees CNA spoke to said they were shocked and hurt by the sudden retrenchment, and felt that the updated terms of the severance package were still below expectations.

Several of them had walked out of the rooms designated for the meetings in tears, while others broke down as they recounted last Thursday’s announcement.

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.

Malaysia proposes RM86 million fine on Grab for abusive practices

The [MyCC] ruled that… Grab had abused its dominant position in the local market by preventing its drivers from promoting and providing advertising services for its competitors.

Malaysia’s competition regulator on Thursday (Oct 3) proposed a fine of over RM86 million (US$20.53 million) on ride-hailing firm Grab for violating the country’s competition law by imposing restrictive clauses on its drivers.

The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) ruled that Singapore-based Grab, which has major backing from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, had abused its dominant position in the local market by preventing its drivers from promoting and providing advertising services for its competitors.

MyCC also imposed a daily penalty of RM15,000 beginning on Thursday for as long as Grab fails “to take remedial actions as directed by the commission in addressing the competition concerns”.

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.

Tuas mega port will allow Singapore to ‘rethink the future of shipping’, says PM Lee

When fully operational in the 2040s, the new port… will replace existing facilities at Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Pulau Brani.

Speaking at an event marking the groundbreaking of the future container terminal, Mr Lee noted the mega port will also see Singapore’s port capacity double from the 36 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) it can currently handle annually.

When fully operational in the 2040s, the new port – expected to be the world’s single largest fully automated container terminal – will replace existing facilities at Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Pulau Brani.

But beyond scale, the development on a greenfield site allows for innovation and sustainability to be key features of the project, said Mr Lee.

Among the innovations the mega port will feature is a fleet of fully electric driverless automated guided vehicles to transport containers between the wharf and yard.

Currently being tested at the Pasir Panjang terminal, these vehicles have a carbon footprint 25 per cent smaller than that of conventional vehicles.

Meanwhile, automated rail-mounted gantry cranes – which are fully electric and use cameras and laser sensors for precision – will allow crane specialists to remotely supervise multiple cranes.

The S$2.42 billion first phase will have 21 deep-water berths, which will allow it to handle about 20 million TEUs of cargo annually when it is fully operational in 2027.

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.


Seen anything interesting? Tip us off.

Want to be seen and heard? Contribute or advertise with us.

Like what you read? Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to get the latest updates.

Get the latest updates right to your mailbox

We will not share your contact information
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
We're a bunch of minions who love reading and writing about business more than doing business (it's scary). Also, not all minions love bananas.
>