SPH source: Resentment, confusion as second day of retrenchment carried out

Another round of cuts to be made on Friday the 13th.

By Belmont Lay | October 13, 2017

According to a source from Singapore Press Holdings, more staff will be informed of their termination as the retrenchment exercise is carried out for the second day on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017.

The Straits Times only reported that 130 staff who will be retrenched, representing 3 percent of manpower at SPH.

No details of retrenchment in each department was given in the report.

But the source from SPH has provided a partial breakdown.

Breakdown of retrenched staff

The most updated figures suggest staff cuts at ST newsroom are the most severe, with up to 40 employees affected — probably because they have the biggest headcount out of all newsrooms.

Here are the latest retrenchment numbers:

Straits Times: 40
→ includes seven from Life!
→ five sub-editors
→ four at news desk

Business Times: 17

Resentment and confusion

According to the source, the most baffling move was the retrenchment of a few young reporters.

The source said the cost of keeping these young reporters is “very, very low” and the cut was perceived to be arbitrary.

The source also said direct supervisors of the reporters “had absolutely no say” in deciding if the juniors should be kept. And they only found out who on their staff and how many got axed at 9am on Thursday, when the retrenchment exercise began in earnest.

The collective view is that the new SPH chief executive, Ng Yat Chung, is a big fan of cost-cutting, which will not be good news for the newsroom staff.

Consolidation of resources

The source also said there is a consolidation of resources in the various newsrooms to streamline manpower.

The New Paper sports desk will move to ST in November, and ST money desk will move to BT.

Mothership.sg understands that Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of SPH’s English/ Malay/ Tamil Media Group is going to hold another meeting on Friday at 5pm just for ST.

Photographer who covered townhall event laid off

Another SPH source said one photographer who took photos of the company-wide townhall meeting on Thursday morning was retrenched after he filed his work.

However, the source also said the silver lining is that job offers have started to come in for some of those affected.

There is also a sense of relief for those who did not get cut, but there is no assurance they won’t be next down the road in a few years’ time.

If you are one of those affected by Singapore Press Holdings retrenchment exercise, do contact us at [email protected] if you wish to share your experience. Your identity will be kept anonymous and any identifiers removed.

SPH photographers & editorial staff bear brunt of retrenchment exercise

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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