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. And it goes up to 115 per cent of what was taken away if it proves to be as successful as last year. We reproduce excerpts: RIGHT at this moment, we’re having a little problem with our pilots. Right or wrong, they genuinely feel that they are being shortchanged. 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. The love story between Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo is a beautiful and touching one. And the key is not to hold an election when people are not feeling good. Since then, Singapore Airlines has gone on to rank consistently as one of the best airlines in the world. They just say: ‘You squeezed us when the going was bad, now we want it back.’. In other words, we’re carrying other people’s passengers. He made the remarks in a speech and a question-and-answer session at the Global Branding Forum. But Lee Kuan Yew, dead at 91, will be remembered for lifting millions out of poverty — even if that meant micromanaging their lives. He met them face to face to show that he meant business. Well, we’re not going to have that. He was furious that in a short span of 2 weeks they had caused harm to SIA's reputation. 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. 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. Tensions were high between Singapore Airlines' (SIA) top brass and the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S). 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. But now, there are not enough first-class seats. The court instructed parties to keep negotiating, which eventually led to an out-of-court agreement. I come back to the pilots. Meanwhile, SIA has almost completed the first of a three-year transformation plan. You do that because your service is not only safe, it’s not only reliable, but it is exceptionally good. 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. He was an MP from 1988 to 2011 and a Cabinet minister from 1991 to 2011 The Straits Times, 24 Mar 2015 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. Now you can have that in Hong Kong. Seven years on, trouble is once again brewing. Here again, the level of development of a country may be a proxy for rigorous enforcement.". Here’s how Mr Lee Kuan Yew famously resolved two of the most prominent labour disputes in Singapore's aviation history. 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. But the pilots’ union is not interested in that. We know what the management knows. I decided a long time ago that popularity is something volatile. Some experts, however, caution that while all certified commercial pilots would have been trained according to international regulations, local standards can and do differ. This is a place that works, that must work and continue to work because it is based on principles. Tackling labour-management relations remained one of his key priorities until he stepped down in January last year. They feel good, they get their bonuses, you’re popular. Mr Lee Kuan Yew had taken a personal interest in the process. The environment is getting tougher. Straits Times, Asian Balance: my monthly column on geopolitics in Business Standard, Pax Indica: my foreign affairs column for Yahoo India! But the pilots say this issue is not just about their personal remuneration. Not all pilots who retired have been replaced, and in 2013, SIA also released 76 expatriate pilots who were on three-year contracts. I don’t know about branding. And the first principle is nobody owes us a living. We are not fools. 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. Because of Sars, Singapore Airlines lost a few hundred million dollars that quarter. He was accused of threatening industrial peace in SIA - which could also affect the overall interests of Singapore. In other words, there’ll be fewer than 12 passengers if you have two being used by pilots. 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. So, for instance, when SIA changes first-class seats to totally flat reclining seats and so there are fewer first-class seats. 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. Are EU Markets More Competitive than Those in the U.S.? 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? I do know that you need a good reputation, not just outside Singapore but within Singapore, with your own people. dailymail.co.uk 10. You’re not going to have that in Singapore. But when he spoke to the Singapore Air Transport Workers' Union on the eve of SIA's formation, there was … 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. Second, its recent good financial results are mostly the result of volume growth and low price of oil. Please enable scripts and reload this page. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. 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. Prof Pangarkar said: "Generally, developed countries and airlines would have stricter requirements for pilots. 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. This follows a similar consolidation between the group's budget carriers. So we are telling them, both management and unions, ‘you play this game, there are going to be broken heads’. Through investment company Temasek Holdings, the government owns 57 per cent of SIA. 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. 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. 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. Let’s stop it. In the early 1970s, the government of Singapore, led by prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, had a great idea. But Alpa-S is also making a legitimate point in that pilots should share the benefits of sector growth and SIA's success. In May this year, the group announced plans for SilkAir to merge with SIA. He stomps them into the ground”, he was using metaphors no less graphic and remorseless than ones Lee was wont to use about himself. This collective agreement ends in a few months, we’re going to be tough’. His loyalty and devotion to his wife, a charming contrast to his strict demeanor Image via Straits Times. There’s no catchment here. 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. A three-member panel, consisting of a judge and a representative each from SIA and Alpa-S, agreed with the union. The current jet fuel price, for example, is almost at a four-year high. This is a service industry. SIA Captain Ryan Goh, a Malaysian who was singled out as the instigator of the revolt, received his marching orders. Certification would ensure that the pilots have met certain standards, as long as the certification standards are properly enforced. 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 … SIA and Alpa-S also cannot agree on the number of rest days that pilots are entitled to before and after some flights. Not all who accepted the offer returned. Most autocrats drive their nations into the ground. He warned them that if they "play this game, there are going to be broken heads". SIA needs to continue to reduce its costs. The dispute is expected to be heard before the IAC before the end of next month. When we joined Malaysia, we became Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, a joint airline. leaders to seek approval from members on agreements ("SIA Pilots: Law to Be Tightened", 1 December 2003). "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. Management should try its utmost to keep the morale high, especially in a competitive and service business, he added. You have stewards or stewardesses or pilots playing work-to-rule, you lose that cachet. 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. "A fair comparison must integrate many factors and not net purchasing power only," Prof Gianasso said. For SIA to succeed, it must have the support of all staff, including its 2,000 pilots. In the end, the only way forward for both parties is through dialogue and compromise. The airline insisted that with technology and automation, the new plane was not necessarily more difficult to fly. 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 pilots know that the company has spent half a million or three-quarters of a million dollars training a person to fly a 747. On at least two occasions, the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC) had to intervene. The biggest internal overhaul the airline has ever embarked on encompasses initiatives to grow revenue, and enhance organisational and operational effectiveness. Tensions were high between Singapore Airlines' (SIA) top brass and the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S). I believe that it is better to be feared than to be loved. 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. 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. From Changi Airport to Sembawang Airport, to Seletar, to Paya Lebar? The airline insists that the numbers are within the company's projection for manpower planning, but the union is concerned. The company says: ‘We will pay you the difference.’ No, they want the first-class seat. The airline must keep its pilots' remuneration under control and increase productivity," Prof Gianasso noted. Then they decided they wanted to go off on their own so we built up workshops in Kuala Lumpur so they could go off. 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. 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. I do not believe that popular government means you have to be popular when you govern. 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 […] They are squeezed, there’s a recession, you’re blamed for it, your stocks go down. 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. No heads were broken, but a year later, one rolled. The timing could not be worse for the airline, which has been on a roller-coaster ride since the end-2008 global financial crisis. A call was also made a few years ago for pilots to take voluntary no-pay leave. 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.' At British Airways, a captain's monthly salary is more than US$18,000. We are not going to have that. 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. 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. There were suggestions to divest SIA Engineering Company and Singapore Airport Terminal Services, two of SIA's largest subsidiaries. How Many Governments Does it Take to Fix a Light Bulb. When journalist Dennis Bloodworth in 1989 described Mr Lee Kuan Yew as “bloody-minded and ruthless with his adversaries. 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