Light Rail Manila Corp., the operator of Light Rail Transit Line 1, said it will terminate more than 100 employees, representing a fifth of its work force, by Sept. 15 because of the significant drop in passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“LRMC management has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation from the start and has been taking appropriate measures, balancing its financial position while looking after its team members,” the company said.
“However as LRMC has scaled down operations during the quarantine period and deferred some projects, the company recognizes the need to optimize human resources by reducing the size of its workforce,” it said.
LRMC said its ridership dropped by 90 percent because of the health crisis.
LRMC reported a core loss of P175 million in the first half, following the suspension of operations from March 17 to May 31 under the strict community quarantine.
As a result of the imposition of the ECQ and the restriction on train capacity, average daily ridership went down to 325,200 during the 106 operating days of the first half of 2020 compared with the average daily ridership of 446,571 during the 177 operating days of the first half of 2019.
It said the layoff of 20 percent of its workforce aimed to right-size the organization to better suit the current and future business conditions and maintain stability while navigating through the uncertainty of the global crisis.
“This decision went through multiple levels of approvals involving the LRMC senior management committee, in close consultation with LRMC’s employee union. The right-sizing program will take effect on Sept. 15, 2020,” LRMC said.
LRMC assured that it faithfully complied with all Department of Labor and Employment guidelines.
“To support and take care of affected employees, each employee will receive his/her rightful benefits under the law and even above what is in the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the company said.
“On top of this, LRMC has partnered with Xcelarator Talent Solutions to assist affected members on livelihood and investing wisely. Webinars and online consultations on managing mental health will also be offered,” it said.