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Laid-off Lazada employees will receive more payments, but some remain unhappy with differentiated packages

“RIDICULOUS” S$1,200 PAYMENT

Others in the same situation as Rachel and Tricia felt compelled to update a group chat on Monday about what they saw as a positive outcome.

The group chat, with over 100 affected employees, was created immediately after the retrenchment exercise and was a source of support for those affected by the cuts, who would share updates over the months.

Just as people were eagerly waiting to be officially informed of the same compensation package, some were told they would be contacted for a “training grant.”

So when Ryan, a former mid-ranking employee in his 30s, received a call the next day informing him that he would receive an additional sum of S$1,200, he was surprised.

It was very far from what I expected.

It was also different from the extra two weeks of pay for each year of service that people had been looking forward to, former employees said, noting that rumors had spread before the news was confirmed.

“If we knew in advance from the beginning that the amount was going to be so small, then we would be a little less disappointed,” Ryan told CNA.

“They (the union) asked us to send payrolls, they asked us to send bank statements, they asked us to send our employment contracts, a lot of confidential documents. And that is also why we think it will be a huge amount of money,” he added.

Gavin, who is in his 50s and earned a five-figure sum in his senior role, said the S$1,200 was a humiliation, describing it as “ridiculous” and a “slap in the face”.

“Don’t you think that younger people can find jobs easily, while higher grade people, who may also be older, will have a little more difficulty and will also have more to feed?” he continued.

The union did not consult employees about their needs before entering into negotiations for a better retrenchment package, Gavin added.

“It’s not that I’m not happy with the money, I’m not happy with the outcome and how it was handled, first by Lazada and second by the union,” he said.

In the contract seen by CNA, employees like Ryan and Gavin were told the money would only be credited to union members who joined the FDAWU before February 20, 2024 and have paid their full membership dues.

The “agreement” will be “transmitted” to employees no later than August 31, 2024, according to the contract, highlighting that “no further claims may be made” on this matter once signed.

The contract also called for employees to keep the terms of the “agreement” confidential.

The varied layoff packages are in line with the FDAWU’s most recent statement: the union confirmed Thursday night that employees’ length of service at Lazada, job qualifications and the validity of their union membership would be factors taken in consideration for their respective payments.

“This means that uniform pay cannot be applied,” said union president Julie Cheong.

FDAWU cannot share more details about the payment due to a confidentiality clause in an agreement signed between the union and Lazada Singapore, he added.

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