On 19 September, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that its pilot will be taking 10 to 60 per cent pay cuts starting 1 October after the SIA and the Air Line Pilots Association – Singapore (Alpa-S) reached an agreement that the pay cuts could save about 400 jobs.
About one-week before the announcement of pay cuts, SIA also embarked a large retrenchment process, involving about 2,400 staff across SIA, SilkAir and Scoot in Singapore as well as overseas station due to the unprecedented global aviation crisis.
With such announcements by SIA, many cabin crew jobs have been under threat. According to TODAY, among 12 pilots that being interviewed, some of whom have been retrenched, while there are those who have taken on delivery jobs to make up for lost income.
While Terence Soon, 30-year-old from Progress Singapore Party (PSP), who has worked with airline for about five years told TODAY that the pay cuts have not really affected him or brought worry upon his family, despite having a five-month-old daughter to care for.
Noting that “his expenses are very low”, Mr Soon, who is also the Head of PSP’s Youth Wing expressed that he tries to be “consciously aware” of his monthly spending as his mentor always advise him that “do not ever count the allowances” in the salary.
“My mentor has always told me that you’ve got to treat your salary like you’re just taking (your) basic (salary). Don’t ever count your allowances because you never know there would be a day when suddenly there’s no more flights and you have to survive on your basic pay,” he said.
He went on to say, “So, the amount that I spend per month is really rather low and I try to be consciously aware of that, because how many things could I possibly need?”
Mr Soon, who contested in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency during GE2020, is currently applying for other full-time jobs, according to TODAY.
SIA and Scoot attempt to reassign cabin crew to support other industries
Earlier on, both SIA and Scoot have attempted to reassign their cabin crew members to support other industries following the reduction of flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, SIA deployed about 300 cabin crew to hospitals across the city-state, taking up manpower gaps due to the influx in COVID-19 cases. A total of 30 crew members were deployed as “care ambassadors” at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun on 7 April.
Besides offering their service in hospitals, some SIA cabin crew have also been moved to public transport hubs to be transport ambassadors.
Scoot, on the other hand, had deployed nearly 400 crew to support other industries in June.
In a joint statement with ams Sensors Singapore – manufacturer of sensor solutions – on 4 June, more than 100 cabin crew have taken on its temporary employment in a duration of at least three months starting in May this year.
“These assignments enable crew, whose flying hours have been greatly reduced due to COVID-19’s impact on the aviation industry, to supplement their income and gain new knowledge and soft skills. They also allow Scoot to retain its front-line talent through this downturn.”
Additionally, the airline’s cabin crew and pilots were also enrolled in a training programme for upskilling and career development as most of its network had been temporarily suspended amid the pandemic.
In fact, about 1,900 of its crew attended a home-based virtual learning course that was hosted in collaboration between the company and NTUC LearningHub.