The e-commerce company will also establish a dedicated training fund for the union to provide employment and employability support to eligible affected union members.
An enhanced support package and a dedicated training fund were two key negotiated outcomes between the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) and Lazada Singapore Pte Ltd (Lazada) following the latter’s restructuring exercise on 3-5 January 2024.
In a joint statement on 4 February 2024, the e-commerce company and the union said they had reached an amicable settlement over the restructuring exercise.
FDAWU will use the enhanced support package to help eligible affected union members.
Lazada has also established a dedicated training fund for FDAWU to provide employment and employability support to affected members. Both entities will collaborate with NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to administer this support.
The parties added that they have “taken all considerations seriously” and that they will continue working closely to assist workers who have been displaced.
Lazada gave FDAWU direct recognition in October 2020. As the legally recognised union for Lazada, FDAWU entered further discussions with Lazada to secure even better outcomes for its members.
NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said: "The intervention by FDAWU is a strong testament to how our unions can represent and protect their members' interests. We urge companies to partner with us and our affiliated unions."
He also emphasised that retrenchments should always be the last resort.
Meanwhile, FDAWU said it recognises that there are affected general branch members from other Lazada entities that are non-unionised. The union hopes to be able to support these members as well.
NTUC and FDAWU thanked Lazada for their cooperation. All three have also expressed their appreciation to the Manpower Ministry (MOM) for its support and help in facilitating some discussions.
Former Lazada employees who are FDAWU union members affected by the restructuring are encouraged to email FDAWU at firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 February 2024 before 5pm for more details.
On 3 January 2024, Lazada announced it was conducting a restructuring exercise.
FDAWU was not notified of the restructuring exercise when it took place.
The number of staff affected was not revealed, but media reports estimated that at least 100 people in Lazada’s Singapore offices had been laid off.
Lazada has since apologised to the union and agreed to work together in the best interests of the workers.
In early negotiations, affected workers were told that they would receive two weeks’ salary for every year of service.
FDAWU found this unsatisfactory and proceeded to negotiate for additional benefits with MOM acting as the facilitator.
An MOM spokesperson shared that the swift resolution and settlement of restructuring exercise was possible because of tripartism.
"While Lazada did not start off in the right manner with the union, we are pleased that all parties have settled the matter and moving forward, agreed to build strong partnership to achieve win-win outcomes for the business and workers," he said.