In a press release published on Wednesday (Oct 3), local telecommunications firm Starhub announced its plan to retrench about 300 permanent employees. Affected roles are primarily in non-customer-facing positions and the company will begin informing them no later than the end of this month. The move is taken as part of S$25 million company restructure owing to the intense competition in the market.
Starhub chief executive officer Peter Kaliaropoulos said in a statement, “The intense competitive ferocity right across the market, new entrants, lower voice revenues, thinning margins for fixed broadband services, high content costs for Pay TV operations and high market penetration for mobile and fixed services, has necessitated efficiency optimisation initiatives as part of the strategic transformation plan.”
The company said that it had initiated an operational efficiency programme to improve productivity and lower operating costs, which also resulted in the lay-off that will affect about 1 in 8 of its total 2,500 employees. It added that that the one-off restructuring exercise, including funding to support training, coaching and outplacement, will not impact the indicators of its future earnings for the financial year 2018. The overall strategic transformation programme is expected to save the company S$210 million over three years from 2019.
Mr Kaliaropoulos stated, “Technological innovation and competition are redefining how we deliver services to our customers and we at StarHub need to transform our operating model, otherwise we will face greater risks in the future.”
The telco firm is also targeting savings in procurement activities, leasing costs, rationalising spending in network and system repairs and maintenance, as well as overall sales and distribution expenses, along with the restructuring exercise.
To help the 300 affected workers find suitable job replacement, StarHub will work closely with its affiliated companies, the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (Siseu), the National Trades Union Congress’ Employment and Employability Institute, and government agencies such as Workforce Singapore, Today Online reports.
The executive secretary of Siseu, Sylvia Choo said that the union will work closely with StarHub’s management to ensure fair treatment and compensation packages for them. She added that the union will offer support such as in job searching, career coaching and employability training.
Mr Kaliaropoulos acknowledged the contributions that the affected employees have made, saying that for them, it was “not an individual performance issue but one of strategic realignment of StarHub”.
“While reducing overall resources, StarHub will continue to grow its workforce in areas such as cyber security, home and enterprise solutions, and customer care,” he added.