Local news agency, New Straits Times Press (NSTP), will see over 500 of their employees out of their job, come 12th March 2020, following a retrenchment exercise by parent company Media Prima Bhd.
A few companies have been downsizing their workforce just to keep businesses afloat. This year alone, it was reported that the number of retrenched workers have climbed up to 37,260 due to a global downturn.
The reasons for these many retrenchments may be due to low domestic consumption rates, decline in exports and disruptive business models. Additionally, the rise in technology advancement (such as robotic assistants and the internet) have resulted in many traditional labour intensive works being replaced with more tech-savvy solutions.
NSTP National Union of Journalists chairman, Farah Marshita Abdul Patah, told reporters that the 543 axed employees will be from New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. She also stated that their bureaus will also be trimmed down from 14 to 5, with some departments around Malaysia being merged together. Each bureau will then have 2 reporters to cover their assigned areas.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the workers affected were given no choice to appeal to the termination letter. This resulted in many of the staffs feeling cheated by the present leadership. This sentiment was also echoed by Muslim Nazari, who posted his opinion on his Facebook page regarding the incident.
As mentioned, the retrenchment exercise was part of Media Prima’s restructuring of their operations. This undertaking is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. Currently, the Media Prima staffs who lost their jobs were urged to seek Sosco for help in finding themselves new opportunities.