Union Works Closely with Pratt & Whitney on Responsible Retrenchment Exercise

The Pratt & Whitney companies announce that they will be carrying out a retrenchment exercise.
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 03 Aug 2020
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The Pratt & Whitney companies issued a joint statement with the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) on its intention to carry out a retrenchment exercise on 3 August 2020.

Pratt & Whitney said that its current headcount will be reduced by under 20 per cent, affecting fewer locals with the Singapore core continuing to form more than 77 per cent of the workforce after the exercise.

According to the union, the percentage of both foreign and local workers being retrenched was brought down after several rounds of negotiation with Pratt & Whitney.

The companies unionised under SISEU include Turbine Overhaul Services, Pratt & Whitney Component Solutions, P&W NGPF Manufacturing Company Singapore and Component Aerospace Singapore.

The companies notified the union of their intention early July 2020, and both are committed to ensure that affected employees are accorded fair treatment and compensation packages. They specialise in design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units.

They join the growing list of aviation and hospitality companies that are reducing manpower after being affected by COVID-19.

With over 37 years of operations in Singapore, Pratt & Whitney employs more than 2,000 employees in Singapore.

Experts have forecasted that the commercial aviation industry will take at least until 2023 to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Last Resort

According to a joint release, Pratt & Whitney began working with SISEU and NTUC on cost-cutting measures since April 2020.

Retrenchment was taken as the last resort, and all parties have been working together to ensure the retrenchments are carried out in a transparent, fair and responsible manner.

The companies and union stated that they will use the NTUC Fair Retrenchment Framework, and the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment to guide the exercise.

SISEU’s Commitment

SISEU’s current priority will be to work closely with the Pratt & Whitney companies, to ensure affected employees receive the necessary assistance and support during this transition period.

Together with NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the union will arrange for affected employees to attend job fairs and employability workshops.

“The union remains committed and will relentlessly pursue our mission to protect the interests and rights of our workers and ensure that they are fairly treated in the event of retrenchment, should all other options be exhausted.

“With further retrenchments becoming inevitable in the months ahead, we urge more workers to join the union so that we can come in to provide assistance, should and when the need arises,” said SISEU Executive Secretary Sylvia Choo.

The Pratt & Whitney companies will continue working with SISEU, NTUC, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and relevant authorities to up-skill the local workforce to meet the changing and future needs of the aviation industry.