How should businesses, labour, the government, and society at large deal with plant closings and layoffs?

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A slowing economy may mean decreasing the extent of the workforce. Concerned over the impact of slowing economy in this increasing worldwide competition in the sector of manufacturing and confronting the political aftermath from a becoming number of prominent plant closings and mass cutbacks.

A plant closing is the changeless or impermanent shutdown of a solitary vocation site or one or more offices or working units with a solitary site, which brings about employment misfortune for 50 or more workers (excluding the individuals who work less than 20 hours for every week) amid a 30-day period. A layoff is a diminishment in drive that brings about occupation misfortune at a solitary business site, amid a 30-day period, for (1) 500 or more workers (excluding the individuals who work less than 20 hours for every week), or (2) 50 to 499 representatives (excluding the individuals who work less than 20 hours for every week), if the laid-off representatives make up no less than one-third of the manager’s dynamic workforce (, 2014).

This dissertation highlights the layoff and the plant closing issue that presently Singapore is facing and how the business, labours, government and the society should deal with such issues.


There is a decrease in the industrial production. Due to economic crisis, investors took their cash out of nation after nation. Asian pioneers thought they had discovered an answer — increments in fares to the West, especially of gadgets. In any case that reliance on fares sustained this emergency. Presently American and European purchasers are pulling their import requests from nation after nation. Keeping in mind governments have fleeting monetary boost arrangements, long haul answers appear to be more elusive. The industrial facilities here have pulled in laborers from all over Indonesia. More are currently losing their occupations, generally as a huge number of vagrant Indonesian laborers are returning in the wake of being laid off in neighboring nations like Singapore (BRADSHER, 2014).

According to the findings of the “Redundancy and Re-Entry into Employment”, in the year 2012, even though there was an increase in the employment rate in Singapore, however, the report highlighted that workers from manufacturing and service sectors were made redundant. The redundancy rate increased from 5.5 to 5.8 employees per 1000. The majority were PMETs( professionals, managers, executives and technicians). The layoff rate was arond 10% (Yahoo Singapore Finance, 2014).

Apart from this in the year 2012, Walt Disney decided to close the plant that is its game studio LucasArts resulting in layoffs due to cost-cutting purpose (Channel NewsAsia, 2013). From the research it is also found that Singapore had to suffer from unemployment in the year 2008 when Motorola, the cell-phone manufacturing plant laid-off 700 employees from their plant (Lemon, 2008).

This shows that the country has been suffering from both plant closing leading of layoff of many employees. It is found that the main reason behind this is business reorganization and high cost (Lewis, 2014).


Strategic planning by management team can decrease the number of cases created and empower the organization to deal with the laborers’ remuneration and prosecution expenses during the plant closing and layoffs. A portion of the key issues that business must emphasise on include: Job counselling and placement assistance;  Potential working environment roughness situations; Claim administration contacts; Ongoing claim management and investigation; Proactive handicap case administration; Management of Litigation; Documentation of plant methods, conditions, and exposures; and Preservation of discriminating records and documentation

Potential strategies include (, 2009) that business must follow to deal with such issues would include: Documenting the workplace, including plant methods, conditions, and exposures, and potentially recording distinctive workstations; Assuring that proper therapeutic reconnaissance is present also archived, including listening to tests and physical abilities evaluations; Completion of hygiene study of industry; Verifying the stock of all chemicals utilized as a part of the plant; Gathering OSHA review and occurrence reports; Updating recording documenting task and job descriptions necessities and Arranging for record stockpiling, guaranteeing that work-related medicinal records personal and payroll documents are easily accessible.


The labourers or workers who are the victims of layoffs due to plant closing generally suffer from mental illness due to lack of motivation. Since layoff is out of control, it is very much important for a laid off person to understand the situation of the organization and the reasons behind the lay off. Many therapists say that reframing technique is the best technique to come out of negative situations. Being laid off is a period to regroup in the life and particularly in the profession. This procedure help to choose two openings for work later on, one that keeps with their current way, or an alternate that may open up an alternate set of chances.

Apart from this, the managers or other employees should understand the emotions of the laid off person and should help them to cope up with the situation by motivating them. One to one communication is the best way to help the employees to cope up with the situation and also create a positive impact among other employees who are working. The most sensitive test is telling somebody that he or she has been given up. Don’t designate this excruciating mission to the HR division. A great many people are dedicated first to their chief, then to their organization. The individual’s administrator ought to convey the message. Organizations need to permit administrators a reasonable timetable to have one-on-one discussions with the representatives that are generally given up (Harvard Business Review, 2009).


The government is having the most important role in the cases of the layoffs and the plant closing. In the private investment in most of the Asian countries are very much flexible. In the countries like Indian, Malaysia and Indonesia the liquation of the foreign business investment is very much easy and in most of the cases the government allows this under the international pressure from the, influential countries. However, in the present scenario after the current recession the business scenario of the Asian Market changed largely. In present condition, the Asian market is the most influential market in the world. Very specifically saying the Indian Chinese and the Singapore market is increasing more rapidly than the other markets. In some of the areas like the FMCG and the automobile and the multi-brand retailing sector, the Asian market is dominating the world market.

According to, (2014) this development has created a scope of the employment for a sector but it also created threat for the other adjacent sectors. In the area, government plays a major role. The major government role is to equilibrium within the national and the international investment. It has been seen over the time if any government failed to keep the equilibrium between the national and the international investment there is a major chance of the rapid breakdown.

 A few cases like the Seagate and the Motorola the Singapore government intervene the issue very effectively. In case of Seagate the Singapore government did not allowed Seagate’s compensation plan for the 2000 workers through banning the liquidation of the plant property. At the point of the negotiation, the labour union and the government reached to the dealing that first the company needs to provide the proper compensation following the Singapore’s trade act then the government would allow the liquidation.

The same thing happened with the Motorola layoff. In 2008, the company decided to layoff around 700 workers from their Singapore plant. In this case, initially the Singapore government did not act but when the judicial system intervenes in the issue, the government started taking interest. Motorola in the initial time refused to increase the compensation package and even they refused to transfer the willing workforce to nearby China plant. In this scenario, the Singapore government had taken the same step as in the earlier case. They stopped the liquidation process through the international judicial system. Through doing this the company came under threat for the local and the international investors as they were losing their money due to the rapid decrease in the share value. Finally, Motorola agreed to shift the willing workers to their china plant with initial establish cost paid by the company. The 450 workers welcomed this decision and they shifted to the china plant at the end of the 2010 (Lemon, 2008).


According to, (2014) the major effects of the plant closing and the layoffs has been seen on the mental health of the workers. In most of the cases, it has been found that the middle aged and the young employees break down in most of the time. According to the report published by Channel NewsAsia, (2013) has shown that immediate after the layoff or the closing the society indirectly stated acting in a odd way with the employees and this breaks the mental health of the human being. This unstable mental health often leads to the suicidal activities mostly within the middle-aged peoples. There are couple of these types of incidents happened in the Asian market. This types of incidents mostly happened in Indian and china. The major reason behind this is that a larger amount of peoples works in the unorganised sector and the society does not provide social recognitions. In a historical case of Cipher data inc. Almost 50 workers died in the year 1986 layoff reasons. In that year the company decided to lay off 450 peoples from the current service and later on the most of them was received bad response from the society that infused this disaster. After this event, the Singapore government and the local community help group developed a community help program for these types of workers and in the later time it worked very efficiently and the overall viewpoint of the society also changed.


While work distress is acknowledged as an issue wonder and an unavoidable business cost for financial specialists in numerous created nations, it is very nearly unfathomable in Singapore, where a track record of quiet mechanical relations has been a surety against the loss of business and creation opportunities and a key fascination for speculators. Tripartism is a key point of interest for Singapore, underpinning its financial aggressiveness, labour-management relations and development of overall country. Tripartism has helped keep up Singapore’s social union, advantage, and monetary versatility for as long as 30 years. Its practicality and quality are introduced on the sensitive adjusting of assorted diversions among tripartite accomplices, and adjusting energies towards basic targets that expand all hobbies. The inherent delicacy of such an balancing act has been relieved by the imparted commitment and common trust of eras of dynamic tripartite accomplices (Min, 2012).

The Singapore Tripartism Forum (STP) was formed jointly by Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) which was mainly formed to strengthen and deepen the framework of Tripatism and overcome the challenges that Singapore is facing presently. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) was established to advance more prominent familiarity with reasonable business rehearses among businesses and the overall population. It gives a scope of administrations, devices and assets, including preparing workshops, admonitory administrations, and instructive materials, to help associations execute reasonable business rehearses and to conform to vocation enactment. The Tripartite Committee for Low-wage Workers and Inclusive Growth (Tricom) was situated to Recommend measures to enhance job conditions and gauges of work among low-wage laborers; Identify opportunities for money development and employment portability for low-wage workers; and to drive the promotional and outreach activities to take initiatives towards low-wage workers (MOM, 2014).


Throughout the study, it has been observed that the closing and the layoff is an ongoing issue in the Asian market due to the economic conditions and the trading environment. To handle this kind of matter the government, society and the business houses needs to respond in more professional manner than looking into the self-centric matters.



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Yahoo Singapore Finance,. (2014). Layoffs in Singapore rose 10 per cent in 2012: MOM. Retrieved 17 November 2014, from–mom-report-085947652.html