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Shopee assures union in S'pore that workers impacted by job cuts will be compensated

Employees of the online shopping platform Shopee affected by recent layoffs will be compensated, the Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) said on Wednesday (June 15).

The union, which is affiliated with the labour movement National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said it has been in touch with the South-east Asian e-commerce giant after it announced job cuts in an internal memo.

According to professional networking platform LinkedIn, Shopee has over 48,000 employees worldwide.

The Straits Times has reached out to the shopping platform on its staff strength in Singapore, the number of employees impacted by the cuts and whether the CMPU statement means staff in Singapore were laid off.

The cuts impact workers in its ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams in the region.

CMPU, which represents e-commerce employees in Singapore, said Shopee had assured the union that affected employees would be given the appropriate compensation package in line with market norms.

The union said it will help laid off employees find work.

They will also have access to career coaching and job matching services offered by the Employment and Employability Institute and NTUC's network of professional associations and partners.

"CMPU will also continue to work closely with Shopee to ensure that employees' interests and welfare are taken care of as much as possible," said CMPU.

Shopee's chief executive Chris Feng had detailed the layoffs and other changes to its business in an internal memo on Monday night which was circulated widely.

The memo, which was seen by ST, revealed that Shopee would let go of members of its teams in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, as well as a cross-border team supporting the market in Spain.

Shopee will also end its early-stage pilot in Spain, Mr Feng said in the memo.

It previously withdrew from forays into the Indian and French markets in March.

As for the cuts, Mr Feng did not specify which South-east Asian countries would be affected.

Shopee has outposts in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, while its regional headquarters is based in Singapore.

Mr Feng said the company will do its very best to support affected workers.

The layoffs come even as New York-listed Sea, which owns Shopee, beat sales estimates in posting a smaller-than-expected loss in the first quarter of this year, driven by strong showings in its core e-commerce and digital payments business.

Major tech companies like Shopee owner Sea, which raked in windfalls amid rapid digitalisation forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, are now heading into a world marked by high inflation, scarce labour, and supply chain disruptions that threaten profitability.

Shaken by these uncertainties, investors have begun to eschew loss-making tech stocks in recent months.

e-commerceTECHNOLOGY SECTORntucJOB CUTS