Recalling the last major run-in between SIA and the pilots, he said: 'At that time the Prime Minister stepped in, 20-something years ago. This is a service industry. They persuaded, with the help of the Ministry of Manpower, the unions – not just the pilots’ union but the five unions across the board in SIA – to take pay cuts, adjust work schedules and generally trim down. They’re a special breed. Here’s how Mr Lee Kuan Yew famously resolved two of the most prominent labour disputes in Singapore's aviation history. Then they decided they wanted to go off on their own so we built up workshops in Kuala Lumpur so they could go off. A three-member panel, consisting of a judge and a representative each from SIA and Alpa-S, agreed with the union. But they approved it and this is just the first glimmer of recovery in an industry that’s facing very grave challenges. But the pilots’ union is not interested in that. And if they’re confrontational, then either the union gives way or the union is able to knock the Government down. No one can say how mainline carriers will fare in the next one, two years. The timing could not be worse for the airline, which has been on a roller-coaster ride since the end-2008 global financial crisis. Budget carriers are coming into Asia and it’s a matter of time before they pose the same challenge to mainline carriers as they do in America and now increasingly in Europe. But the second quarter, July to September, they showed a profit. In the early 1970s, the government of Singapore, led by prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, had a great idea. In the Home Section (Page H11) of The Straits Times of 24 May 2003. Let’s stop it. FOR the first time since he retired as prime minister 13 years ago, Lee Kuan Yew has emerged to show young Singaporeans how tough he can be when facing a … Remembering Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) Remembering Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) Remembering Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) SIA and Alpa-S also cannot agree on the number of rest days that pilots are entitled to before and after some flights. Right or wrong, they genuinely feel that they are being shortchanged. When journalist Dennis Bloodworth in 1989 described Mr Lee Kuan Yew as “bloody-minded and ruthless with his adversaries. Now you can have that in Hong Kong. In the end, the only way forward for both parties is through dialogue and compromise. When the SIA pilots went on strike, our late founding father Lee Kuan Yew was clearly furious. We reproduce excerpts: RIGHT at this moment, we’re having a little problem with our pilots. MR LEE KUAN YEW 1923 - 2015: THE LEE KUAN YEW I REMEMBER Mr Lee receptive to new inputs George Yeo, 60, chairman of Kerry Logistics Network, part of the Kerry Group that is owned by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok. Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew issued a stern warning to Singapore Airlines pilots on Monday that the Government will not allow them to go slow or work-to-rule, which would damage the airline’s reputation and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in losses in a matter of months. Some experts, however, caution that while all certified commercial pilots would have been trained according to international regulations, local standards can and do differ. I come back to the pilots. So we are telling them, both management and unions, ‘you play this game, there are going to be broken heads’. We had Malayan Airways, which was based here. As the airline steers through turbulent times, it must ensure that the flight controls are in good, steady hands. He was the co-founder and first secretary-general of the People's Action Party (PAP), and led the party to a landslide victory in 1959. Most autocrats drive their nations into the ground. In 1980, Lee Kuan Yew told SIA pilots' union he was prepared to ground airline & start over 'They know that I'm prepared to ground the airline. You have stewards or stewardesses or pilots playing work-to-rule, you lose that cachet. He warned them that if they "play this game, there are going to be broken heads". This time, the argument was about the amount that pilots should receive in annual service increment for 2010 and 2011. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 1959 to 1990.. The airline must keep its pilots' remuneration under control and increase productivity," Prof Gianasso noted. A call was also made a few years ago for pilots to take voluntary no-pay leave. "As for the pilots, who have refused to take 10 to 12 days of no-pay leave every two months unless SIA first releases 120 pilots based overseas, Mr Lee had this to say: "The pilots' union has not settled. Today, with our population of three million – plus another one million foreigners, it’s four million – we are carrying the loads of Australia, with a population of 20 million, or for that matter, many other airlines. He was furious that in a short span of 2 weeks they had caused harm to SIA's reputation. But the pilots say this issue is not just about their personal remuneration. First, competition - both long-and short-haul - is very tough. Capt Goh, who was living here from 1981, was singled out by then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew for instigating the ouster of Alpa-S leaders in November 2003, amid unhappiness over wage negotiations. The love story between Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo is a beautiful and touching one. Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, for one, voiced his opinion in December 2005 that Singapore Airlines should divest these two companies to focus on its core business of air transportation. But Alpa-S is also making a legitimate point in that pilots should share the benefits of sector growth and SIA's success. Seven years on, trouble is once again brewing. This follows a similar consolidation between the group's budget carriers. I belong to the old school. Are EU Markets More Competitive than Those in the U.S.? We know the union side too because we’ve got unionists on our side and we are going to solve this before it gets troublesome and solve it we will. I do know that you need a good reputation, not just outside Singapore but within Singapore, with your own people. So after the Sars debacle, SIA lost money for the first time in its history, they accepted the pay cuts, no-pay leave, certain adjustments in work schedules with a proviso that if SIA makes money, as it makes money it will restore all its cuts. He met them face to face to show that he meant business. Mr Singh did not elaborate on the government's 'involvement' in SIA and PSA but Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew was very much in the thick of an effort to settle the recent dispute between SIA pilots and management over wage cuts and other industrial relations issues. On at least two occasions, the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC) had to intervene. No heads were broken, but a year later, one rolled. From my conversations with pilots and the e-mails that I have received over the past week from SIA crew who do not wish to be identified, it is clear that they are a disgruntled lot. Second, its recent good financial results are mostly the result of volume growth and low price of oil. SINGAPORE - Pilots from the Airline Pilots Association Singapore (Alpa-S) saluted in the rain as the cortege of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed by on Sunday afternoon.. Read more at straitstimes.com. SIA Captain Ryan Goh, a Malaysian who was singled out as the instigator of the revolt, received his marching orders. Both management at SIA and the pilots’ union, and all the unions in SIA, know that when the Government decides that its industrial relations is a key factor in its progress, in its economic well-being, and it says no, it means no. Whereupon the pilots say: ‘We’ve been taken for a ride.’ They sack the committee. My younger colleagues sometimes want to be both. How Many Governments Does it Take to Fix a Light Bulb. The industrial dispute was resolved amicably between the new union leaders and the senior Lee ("SIA Pilots Pledge Amicable Solution", 24 February 2004). Mr Lee Kuan Yew had taken a personal interest in the process. Tensions were high between Singapore Airlines' (SIA) top brass and the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S). (2010-11), No anti-terrorist measures in these places, Non Proliferation White Paper and Reactor Sale to Pakistan, A Presidential Pardon for Turkey: West Asia Fortnightly Update, 03-01-2019, Unbundling “household work” to get more women to work. The airline insisted that with technology and automation, the new plane was not necessarily more difficult to fly. We know that, if we allow this to go on, there’ll be a go-slow, there’ll be some work-to-rule and we’ll get the Cathay Pacific situation. The pilots, unhappy with the layoffs and pay cuts that came in the wake of the Sars crisis, had ousted their union leaders in 2003. When – after settling this and voting in favour of the executive committee saying, ‘yes, we support this’ – SIA makes $300 million in one quarter, they decide ‘We’ll sack the committee, we’re going to take over. SINGAPORE, March 23 — When journalist Dennis Bloodworth in 1989 described Lee Kuan Yew as “bloody-minded and ruthless with his adversaries. We are not going to have that. It was then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who stepped in after 10 days, and ordered all flight operations to be returned to normal and the airline’s image restored. Lee Kuan Yew (kinesiska: 李光耀, pinyin: Lǐ Guāngyào), född 16 september 1923 i Singapore, död 23 mars 2015 i Singapore, var den förste premiärministern i republiken Singapore från 1959 till 1990.Sedan han avgått från ämbetet fortsatte Lee att vara en av de mest inflytelserika politikerna i Singapore. His loyalty and devotion to his wife, a charming contrast to his strict demeanor Image via Straits Times. Please enable scripts and reload this page. "A fair comparison must integrate many factors and not net purchasing power only," Prof Gianasso said. So, it’s a capital-intensive industry and if they decide to go slow or walk out, then all that capital is just going to lie frozen on the ground. But when he spoke to the Singapore Air Transport Workers' Union on the eve of SIA's formation, there was … Not all who accepted the offer returned. If we sit back, and SIA has had troubles with the pilots for a long time, as I’ve said, they think they’re special, they’ve got huge egos, I’m told. At about the same time, Mr Stephen Lee - then president of the Singapore National Employers Federation and PSA chairman - joined SIA's board. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. And when that is understood, we then talk sense. He stomps them into the ground”, he was using metaphors no less graphic and remorseless than ones Lee was wont to use about himself. In other words, we’re carrying other people’s passengers. From Changi Airport to Sembawang Airport, to Seletar, to Paya Lebar? Lee Kuan Yew: Govt cannot let pilots have their way Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew issued a stern warning to Singapore Airlines pilots on Monday that the Government will not allow them to go slow or work-to-rule, which would damage the airline’s reputation and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in losses in a matter of months. I think the best thing to do is to do all the unpopular things when you are governing so that at the end of your term, you have the choice of a date when you feel that they will be most grateful that you’ve done all these unpopular things and they vote for you. He was accused of threatening industrial peace in SIA - which could also affect the overall interests of Singapore. He threatened to ground the airline, sack all the SIA pilots and set up a new national carrier, if his orders were not met. In this excerpt from, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, he talks about the necessary […] I do not believe that popular government means you have to be popular when you govern. This collective agreement ends in a few months, we’re going to be tough’. They are squeezed, there’s a recession, you’re blamed for it, your stocks go down. And it goes up to 115 per cent of what was taken away if it proves to be as successful as last year. To ensure a consistent product, the union will take place only after SilkAir planes are upgraded. There were suggestions to divest SIA Engineering Company and Singapore Airport Terminal Services, two of SIA's largest subsidiaries. Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore and the one responsible for its rise from third world to first in only a generation, is a great source of wisdom. They know what this is all about. He quoted what then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew told the pilots: 'I don't want to do you in, but I won't let anybody do Singapore in.' His time in Singapore was up. Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH (Honorary) (Chinese: 李光耀; pinyin: Lǐ Guāngyào; 16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015; also Lee Kwan-Yew) was a Singaporean politician. So, for instance, when SIA changes first-class seats to totally flat reclining seats and so there are fewer first-class seats. These include plans to significantly increase investments in digital enablers, review the airline's route network, revamp key commercial processes and introduce more self-service options to not only help ease call-centre volumes, but also make it more convenient for consumers. In May this year, the group announced plans for SilkAir to merge with SIA. We know what the management knows. Prof Pangarkar said: "Generally, developed countries and airlines would have stricter requirements for pilots. But now, there are not enough first-class seats. They also worry about the long-term impact on the airline's reputation and safety standards if too many pilots leave - good, experienced crew who have been through SIA's rigorous training and aircraft certification programmes. Both parties have legitimate points, said Professor Guido Gianasso, academic director for the Iata-Nanyang Advanced Management Programme at Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Business School. Determined to set things straight, the late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew summoned all parties to the Istana. Associate Professor Nitin Pangarkar from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, stressed that if the current differences are not resolved to mutual satisfaction, staff morale will take a hit. As the pilots were all ushered into the open-meeting, with the 'Alpha-S' pilots sitting on 1 side of the long table and Lee Kuan Yew at the center on the other side flanked by his ministers, NTUC union chief, SIA executives, etc, little have they known that LKY had already instructed a deep investigation and background checks into all the leading members of Alpha-S who were threatening … I think now the first-class cabin, from my recollection, has only about 12 seats when there used to be 16 or 18 seats. Since then, Singapore Airlines has gone on to rank consistently as one of the best airlines in the world. You do that because your service is not only safe, it’s not only reliable, but it is exceptionally good. But Lee Kuan Yew, dead at 91, will be remembered for lifting millions out of poverty — even if that meant micromanaging their lives. In July last year, Tigerair was folded into Scoot to drive commercial and operational synergies between the two airlines. This is a place that works, that must work and continue to work because it is based on principles. While pilots should not expect to be paid what airlines in China pay, for example, SIA, too, should realise that the gap cannot be too wide. Sources say the rate of attrition is historically high and worrying because it comes at a time when SIA is expanding its operations with new aircraft and routes. Not all pilots who retired have been replaced, and in 2013, SIA also released 76 expatriate pilots who were on three-year contracts. The union is pushing for a salary increase to reduce attrition. Lee Kuan Yew on chewing gum ban: "If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana." "Should one of these two factors change, SIA would struggle. Tackling labour-management relations remained one of his key priorities until he stepped down in January last year. Four years later, in 2011, it was back to the courtroom as the union and the airline butted heads again. They feel good, they get their bonuses, you’re popular. The pilots know that the company has spent half a million or three-quarters of a million dollars training a person to fly a 747. Well, we’re not going to have that. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said the fact that the pilots agreed to lower wages I can assure you that in Singapore, when we decide that they are breaking the rules of the game, the unspoken rules as to how we survive, how we have prospered, then either their head is broken or our bones are broken. In January 2006, he was made chairman. It ruled that an A-380 captain should earn a base pay of $700 more than what a Boeing 747 pilot was getting. When we joined Malaysia, we became Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, a joint airline. Certification would ensure that the pilots have met certain standards, as long as the certification standards are properly enforced. Management should try its utmost to keep the morale high, especially in a competitive and service business, he added. I decided a long time ago that popularity is something volatile. He was an MP from 1988 to 2011 and a Cabinet minister from 1991 to 2011 The Straits Times, 24 Mar 2015 They just say: ‘You squeezed us when the going was bad, now we want it back.’. And the key is not to hold an election when people are not feeling good. NBS International PhD Scholarship/Postdoctoral Fellowship. The $100 million programme is expected to start in 2020. An Emirates captain reportedly earns more than US$16,000 a month (tax free), while some Chinese carriers pay their captains more than US$20,000 a month. Last week, The Straits Times reported that a global pilot shortage had hit SIA, which has lost about 180 pilots in the past five to six years to rival airlines, mainly from China and the Middle East. The pilots, unhappy with the layoffs and pay cuts that came in the wake of the Sars crisis, had ousted their union leaders in 2003. The biggest internal overhaul the airline has ever embarked on encompasses initiatives to grow revenue, and enhance organisational and operational effectiveness. Nicole Rebecca Seah Xue Ling (Chinese: 佘雪玲; pinyin: Shé Xuě Líng; born 17 October 1986) is a Singaporean politician and advertising executive.. Seah rose to prominence as a candidate representing the National Solidarity Party (NSP) in Marine Parade GRC in … To cope with unrelenting competition and falling yields, SIA launched budget carrier Scoot in 2012, has invested heavily in new and more technologically advanced planes, upgraded its seats and other cabin products, and entered new markets. The airline insists that the numbers are within the company's projection for manpower planning, but the union is concerned. The dispute is expected to be heard before the IAC before the end of next month. We are not fools. So we had to go international or nothing. In 2007, SIA and Alpa-S met in court to settle a dispute related to flying the Airbus 380 - the world's biggest passenger jet that SIA was the first to operate that same year. For SIA to succeed, it must have the support of all staff, including its 2,000 pilots. If we sit back and do nothing and allow this to escalate and test the wills, then it is going to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in one, two, three months of nastiness. Tensions were high between Singapore Airlines' (SIA) top brass and the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S). Differing opinions on manpower issues, related to pay and working conditions, have brought both parties that are in the midst of negotiations for a fresh three-year collective employment agreement to a deadlock. The captains were allowed, when they were resting, to take a first-class seat which could recline. Now in Europe, when Air France goes on strike, sometimes the minister has to resign or Air France management has to make adjustments. He made the remarks in a speech and a question-and-answer session at the Global Branding Forum. And the first principle is nobody owes us a living. You’re not going to have that in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew, litteris Sinicis 李光耀, litteris Tamulicis லீ குவான் இயூ (Singapurae natus, nomine Harry Lee Kuan Yew, die 16 Septembris 1923; ibidem die 23 Martii 2015 mortuus) fuit politicus Singapuranus, pater patriae habitus. More significantly, the two siblings further questioned the “character, conduct, motives and leadership” of Lee Hsien Loong as the national leader, and emphasized that “we have no confidence in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and are worried about Singapore’s future.” Moreover, the two siblings said that they were considering leaving Singapore, because they felt closely monitored and feared the use of state organs against them by … The environment is getting tougher. I will not allow that because I literally decided, in the early days, that I will preserve this potential business for Singapore. There’s no catchment here. SIA needs to continue to reduce its costs. Here again, the level of development of a country may be a proxy for rigorous enforcement.". In other words, there’ll be fewer than 12 passengers if you have two being used by pilots. ​It's been 15 years since the big showdown at the Istana. leaders to seek approval from members on agreements ("SIA Pilots: Law to Be Tightened", 1 December 2003). I don’t know about branding. A Malaysian airline pilot who angered Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew by leading a rare union revolt lost his appeal against the government's decision to strip him of his residency. The union had argued that pilots flying the super-jumbo, which carries more passengers, shoulder a heavier responsibility and should, therefore, be paid a higher salary. And from that moment, way back in the 1960s, we built ourselves up as an international airline because, where were we going to fly to? The company says: ‘We will pay you the difference.’ No, they want the first-class seat. At British Airways, a captain's monthly salary is more than US$18,000. The court instructed parties to keep negotiating, which eventually led to an out-of-court agreement. But if you read it you will find it very current.' He also spoke about his style of governing compared to that of the younger ministers and the branding of Singapore. While management-union relations became less acrimonious after 2003, there continued to be disagreements between the airline and Alpa-S - one of four unions that represent SIA workers and the only major union in Singapore not affiliated with the National Trades Union Congress. These offers are often between 50 and 100 per cent above what an SIA pilot makes. Compared with an SIA captain who earns about US$12,000 (S$16,500) flying 70 hours a month, captains at many other global airlines of a comparable standard are paid more, they say. With this said, the offers are coming from airlines based in cities which are less attractive than Singapore. Meanwhile, SIA has almost completed the first of a three-year transformation plan. The current jet fuel price, for example, is almost at a four-year high. Because of Sars, Singapore Airlines lost a few hundred million dollars that quarter. With its strong brand proposition and Singapore's reputation as a clean and safe city, SIA knows it is unlikely to have major problems attracting pilots from other airlines, even if attrition rates continue to climb. dailymail.co.uk 10. I have followed closely the ups and downs in SIA and Alpa-S relations since 2003, and while it is natural, even healthy, for management and unions to clash from time to time, the current grievances do seem serious and deep-seated. I believe that it is better to be feared than to be loved. From 2,331 pilots in March 2011, the airline is now down to about 2,000 - more than half the drop is on account of poaching by rivals. 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