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Lazada's brand sentiments plummet following mass retrenchment

Lazada's brand sentiments plummet following mass retrenchment

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Regional eCommerce firm Lazada's brand sentiments have plummeted after the company conducted mass layoffs in Singapore and the region without notifying the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU), their union. 

According to media intelligence firm CARMA, a week before Lazada's retrenchment exercise, its sentiments were 31.9% positive, and 19.8% negative. However, since the retrenchment, Lazada’s brand sentiments have changed to 11.3% positive, and 41.3% negative, according to a spokesperson. 

Lazada's world cloud before the retrenchment also had words such as "products", "innovative" and "market" standing out. 

Following the layoffs, the word cloud drastically shifted with words such as “retrenchment”, "layoffs", "union", "baffled", and "crying" standing out. 

Don't miss: Workers union 'disappointed' by Lazada layoffs, says it was not consulted

This comes shortly after NTUC and FDAWU said that it has made progress with regards to the recent retrenchment exercise at Lazada. 

In a joint statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE over the weekend, NTUC and FDAWU said that Lazada had assured them that it would fully cooperate and provide any necessary information to FDAWU to ensure that the retrenchment exercise was carried out fairly.

"FDAWU have accepted Lazada’s apology for not consulting them prior to the retrenchment exercise. Both parties have agreed to work closely together and to put workers’ interests at the forefront of their negotiations," it said. "Lazada have also assured FDAWU that they will be consulted in advance for any future exercises."

In terms of retrenchment benefits, affected workers were told that they would receive two weeks' salary for every year of service.

"FDAWU do not find this satisfactory and are negotiating for additional benefits for affected eligible workers. The Ministry of Manpower will continue to facilitate these negotiations," it said. 

The new information comes just days after NTUC and FDAWU issued a statement expressing "disappointment" over Lazada carrying out a retrenchment exercise without notifying the union.

FDAWU said on Friday that it has written to Lazada Singapore, stating that the move is unacceptable, and it has escalated the matter to the Manpower Ministry. NTUC continued by saying that it stands by FDAWU and affected workers.

“We, too, are extremely disappointed in this move by Lazada. NTUC would like to reiterate that it is critical for companies to work with their union to ensure that a fair and equitable process was carried out to safeguard the interests of all workers, especially our Singaporean core,” it said.

NTUC also appealed to employers in its statement to follow fair and responsible retrenchment practices if layoffs are unavoidable. 

“Companies must exhaust all other options before making the call to retrench employees. [We] also appeal to companies to be considerate about the timing of such exercises and to avoid doing such exercises during festive periods, as far as possible," it said.

According to The Straits Times (ST), it was not disclosed how many staff members from Lazada were affected.

However, Lazada told ST early this week that it was necessary to make "proactive adjustments" to transform its workforce and to better position itself for a more agile and streamlined way of working in order to meet future business needs.

It added in its statement to ST that the transformation necessitates that it reassesses its workforce requirements and operational structure to ensure that they can future-proof the business and people. 

This reportedly comes shortly after an initial round of layoffs in October 2023. Lazada also saw the departure of its CEO in Singapore, Wee-Lee Loh recently in August last year. Loh was with the company for just under five years. 

Related articles: 
Lazada SG reportedly lays off staff
BDS Malaysia brand sentiments plummet as McDonald's sues for boycott damages
Spotify axes 17% of employees in third round of layoffs this year

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