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Companies and Unions of Singapore Airlines form management parthership

Singapore’s airline industry is facing immense global competition and challenges, including the emergence of low-cost carriers and low-cost maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centres; rivaling airport hubs and services; maturing market and stubbornly…

Singapore’s airline industry is facing immense global competition and challenges, including the emergence of low-cost carriers and low-cost maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centres; rivaling airport hubs and services; maturing market and stubbornly high fuel prices.

The Singapore Airlines Group of companies and unions has recognised the need and urgency to work as a cohesive team to take on these challenges effectively, to stay ahead of competitors and bring the Group to greater heights.

To overcome these challenges and to remain the best airline, and a leading, global provider of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, and inflight catering and ground handling services, the Singapore Airlines’ companies and unions affirm their commitment to be both pro-workers and pro-business respectively.

Unions in the Singapore Airlines Group have committed to be pro-business as they understand that it is also in their workers’ best interests for the Group to stay ahead of the competition in terms of cost efficiency, product leadership and service excellence. Similarly, companies in the Singapore Airlines Group have committed to be pro-workers, to make sure that their workers are well taken care of and rewarded fairly for their contributions, as this would affect the Singapore Airlines Group’s overall customer service delivery and ultimately, profitability.

Having implemented several initiatives to help maintain the competitiveness of the business earlier, the companies and unions have now embarked, for the first time, on a joint Singapore Airlines Group Union-Management Partnership in conjunction with LM2011 (Labour Movement 2011) to further affirm their commitment to be pro-workers and pro-business. This joint effort, which is supported by the National Trades Union Congress, is important and reflective of the strengthening of bi-partite relationship between Singapore Airlines and its unions, which would be critical in bringing the Group towards greater heights.

As part of this Union-Management Partnership and LM2011 effort, which took off in February 2007 in the form of a series of joint management-union workshops both in and outside Singapore, the Singapore Airlines Group of companies and its unions openly shared information and discussed challenges and concerns faced by both the companies and unions, and brainstormed ideas and initiatives that could address these challenges and concerns. Top management and key unionists present at these workshops were active in their discussions and shared candid views on the issues raised to ensure that we would undertake projects and change management that are mutually beneficial to employees and companies.

While some of the joint initiatives arising from these workshops would need more deliberation before actual implementation, there has been a general consensus that both the Singapore Airlines Group of companies and unions will work closely together, with the support of NTUC and relevant agencies, to improve the companies’ competitiveness and workers’ employability and welfare.

Some of the pro-business and pro-workers initiatives include:

  • Explore and support re-employment of older workers wherever possible
  • Enhance employability of workers through skills training and upgrading
  • Enhance career management for the Cabin Crew
  • Move towards best sourcing for those functions that have been outsourced
  • Manage Medical Cost and consider introducing co-payment and portability for hospitalisation benefits
  • Put in place workplace health programmes to enhance workers’ work-life balance

The Singapore Airlines Group of companies and unions have also agreed to continue discussing and finding solutions for other challenges and issues that have not been identified or resolved as yet. The two partners are also committed to work collaboratively in a problem-solving approach.

The launch of the Singapore Airlines Group Union-Management Partnership and the joint effort to discuss and implement the LM2011 initiatives reflect a positive mindset shift for the Singapore Airlines Group of companies, unions and staff. According to Singapore Airlines, this lays the foundation, upon which a common vision, trust and confidence are strengthened among the Singapore Airlines Group of companies and unions, so that the Singapore Airlines Group would continue to be the best airline in the world and a global leader in providing MRO, ground handling and inflight catering services.

The Singapore Airlines Group of Companies include Singapore Airlines, SIA Engineering Company and Singapore Airport Terminal Services.

The unions include Singapore Airlines Staff Union, Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers’ Union, Air Transport Executive Staff Union, SIA Engineering Company Engineers and Executives Union, and Air Line Pilots Association Singapore.

Some of Singapore Airlines Groups’ initiatives to maximise returns on human resources and capital investments include Singapore Airport Terminal Services’ outsourcing of some functions; SIA Engineering Company’s change management efforts to enhance effective use of manpower resources; and the Group’s efforts in re-employing retired workers.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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