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SQ, Another Round Of Staff Cuts.  
User currently offlineN754pr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3485 times:

Singapore Airlines have now fired another 26 pilots and 156 cabin crew. This is strange as most other carriers are now getting flights back to normal after the SARS virus.

Can anyone explain why this is?. Was it due to over expansion??

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3433 times:

As I said in a previous post of yours with a similar heading, SARS is just an excuse for SQ to sack their underperformers. These are people they have always wanted to get rid off but could not. Now they can do so under the guise of a "national tourism crisis"

This comes from reliable sources in the airline.

I think this is unhealthy since poor performers should be told straight in their face that they are not performing and should leave. Deadwood in the company can't be any good.

This just means that the next time SIA wants to sack people they'll have to wait for another calamity.

User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3407 times:

Docpepz: If employees are not up to scratch, then why can't SQ just sack them, citing dissatisfaction as reason for termination?

User currently offline9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1861 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3381 times:

They don't want to risk losing their status of being one of the best companies to work for. Ironically their subsidary SATS is hiring contract workers for a term of 2 years.


9V-SVA | B772ER
User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3353 times:

It takes 18 months to sack someone, 3 warning letters 6 months apart. And you have to be really really bad to get that!

User currently offlineTsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2017 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3332 times:

I think its safe to say that we all know that SIA is a crap airline that sacks people using the ugly excuse of SARS when almost every flight is running at full capacity.

I'm pretty sure S_Air will agree with me, since he didnt have that big a smile when I happen to meet him after he de-planed SQ321 yesterday.

-Tsentsan  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineTsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2017 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3330 times:

I juz received word that this crap airline just retrenched my cousin whose a Chief Stewardess after her being with the company for over 10 years.

Singapore Airlines - Now, more than ever, a disgusting and shameless company.

NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineN754pr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3293 times:


Sorry to say my last post ...... vanished, now I wonder who got it deleted ???


Very sorry to hear about your cousin.

User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

N754pr thats strange. There was nothing about your last post that was remotely controversial.

Sorry Tsentsan, about your cousin. But you know why they are doing this. I wish they could tell people straight in the face why they're sacking them instead of using SARS as an excuse.

ANyway most people in SQ think that they will not make a full year loss.

User currently offlineMarcelduchamp From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3229 times:

I think we're all pretty sure that SQ ain't gonna record no loss for this full financial year! Looked what happened last year...

The retrenchment exercise says a lot more about Singapore Inc.'s new attitude to workers than it does for the airline industry, I think... Remember PSA n HDB? Jobs at these companies just didn't disappear at all.

I too have heard from an SQ cabin crew friend that they were using SARS as an excuse to remove "bad apples" from the staff. I mean no offence to you Trentsan. Actually, wouldn't your cousin have been considered a bit of a high flyer, having been promoted to Chief after only 10 years? Did she have a particularly high MC record, or a lot of demerit points?

Pls do not misunderstand me; I truly disapprove of these retrenchments. I guess we're all shocked 'cos it's happening at the industry's most financially secure airline. It's all happened before at CX, QF and BA et al. You would just expect a bit more from the superior management team at SQ wouldnt you?

Very sad...

User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3198 times:

Well SQ actually retrenched people before CX did when CX was hit much harder than anyone else! The next time I'm going Hong Kong I'll be on CX!

Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineRupertvander82 From France, joined Dec 2002, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

Mr.BA: I do not see your point, choosing to fly CX just because they did not sack any of their staff?

I suspect that the new CEO's just as bad as the previous one.

User currently offlineBusinessflyer From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 288 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

To be fair to SQ, as a GLC they do face a relatively inconsistent policy framework from the govt. Only a couple of years ago, the govt was urging all companies and placing direct pressure on GLCs not to lay off staff in order to keep unemployment levels relatively low. This meant, for example, that even when profit levels were declining, companies were having to find other ways to reduce staff costs (hence the variable wage component for salaries). The most extreme cases of this were the bank mergers - initial concern that they would cause massive lay-offs came to be misplaced primarily because the govt and the unions worked very hard to prevent large-scale redundancies.

However, the situation has changed quite dramatically and the govt is now worried about the competitive pressures being placed on SG companies. It is possible to argue that this began with the PSA/PTP spate which forced the govt to allow the PSA to lay-off a large % of its staff base in order to remain competitive. And once they allowed a few companies to do it, everybody wanted to do it. In fact, now the govt is talking about companies over-reacting and getting rid of too many people - all these articles in the newspapers about the "correct" way to streamline and the "incorrect" way!

DPM Lee has already stressed the importance of SQ to Singapore. It directly employs approx 1% of the total labour base in Singapore and indirectly contributes significantly more. We all know people who work for SQ or are in one way or another dependent on the airline. Therefore, to be honest, its survival and well-being is pretty fundamental to Singapore and this is linked to its profitability. Therefore, shedding labour to stay profitable is unpleasant, but ultimately, if SQ does well, then Singapore does well.

I think the negative point about this entire story, however, is the way in which the management seem to have a complete dis-regard for the unions. ALPA are now asking the SQ for at least one or two days advance notice of redundancies. Amazing - in most other countries, unions work with the management from the outset of any redundancy process. It does make you wonder what the point of unions in Singapore actually is! But this is of course a recurring issue...

PS. S_Air is in town! Ah well... maybe we should have an exclusion zone at Suntec and Tanah Merah Big grin To think that I drove past Concorde last night... I could have popped in to see him!

User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3118 times:


The NTUC, (National Trade Union's Congress) as the country's largest labour union, is an expert on the business of taxis, food courts, childcare, eldercare, pharmacies, supermarkets, driving schools, executive condominiums, insurance, statistics, death, and consumer rights.

I love the NTUC for its cheap goods, insurance and great range of stuff at great value at NTUC supermarkets.

I never knew that they actually did stand up for worker's rights!!

User currently offlineN754pr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3109 times:

Mr. BA,

I'll be there to go spotting with you again  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3100 times:

I am most unimpressed that Singapore Airlines Pte. LTD. would do such a thing, most unimpressed.

User currently offlineMD-11 forever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3090 times:


You forgot to mention that Singapore Airlines Pte. LTD is also a proud member of STAR Alliance, the network for earth!! I'm unimpressed....  Big grin

Back to topic, I think this shows the lack of company culture, that they have to hide the fact that they simply want to get rid of some underperformers (I wonder how they defined who is performing and who isn't!!) by claiming that the traffic slump due to SARS is the reason for this measure. Why not being honest, and by doing this remind the other employees that they can not rely on a lifetime positionif they do not deliver the expected performance......

Cheers, Thomas

User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (12 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3059 times:

MD 11 forever

you are right. Most people in SQ know that this is more a "getting rid of underperformers we have always wanted to get rid of" exercise, more than a cost cutting exercise.

In Singapore, life-long employment used to be the norm. At least in the eighties and nineties when things were rosy. It isn't "normal" to sack people. Usually one or two are given a golden handshake (ie please take this $250 000 and get lost)

of course all that is changing now, since the Asian economic boom is over.

It is time that Singaporeans get back to the real world. As I said we have a very nanny kind of govt who has been spoonfeeding us all this while, putting in all sorts of safety nets and trying to shield us from the "big bad world" out there.

I think we are the most spoonfed nation on earth, frankly!

In short, Singaporeans have been spoilt rotten to the core by the govt. It is time that we wake up and get back to reality! (Not just SIA employees but all Singaporeans)

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (12 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

One of my friends was one of the 156 FAs that was fired. She was told just 2 days back and given one week to pack and return to India. Of course she is in tears...

I am wondering why the hell are they going through with this when traffic is returning and improving rather quickly? Figures are not on my hands now... But things are surely improving. The PR campaign (or if there is one to begin with) that SQ is employing simply sucks because it fuels more speculation and doubts rather than creating goodwill from the company. I wonder if Rick Clements is working with his hands tied?


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

Who exactly makes the decision to sack the staff? I agree with many that I do not see why they are sacking people when the traffic is picking up steadily...

N754Pr I look forward to spotting with you guys  Smile

Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2954 times:

No Singaporean GLCs have ever employed American-style "up-or-out" policies, and because of that many of these companies have a lot of deadwood - people who cruise through the system without making much of a contribution, if at all, to the company. Unfortunately, to simply say that you are moving out the non-performers is very un-Singaporean, hence this exercise in "window dressing".

I am all for weeding out poor performers. Singapore Inc, after all, has to make many painful adjustments to compete effectively today. What SIA does need to work out, however, is how to effectively weed out the poor performers. Many average-to-mediocre employees drift through the system by playing the "right cards" (read=brownosing), and a fair number of them are actually highly regarded within the organization, while many staff with above average talents remain unrecognized and underappreciated. That's partly why SIA has such poor retention rates. I do suspect that many of the victims of the recent layoffs may actually belong to the latter group.

I agree with most of you in this thread that there needs to be more transparency and that this exercise should be publicly revealed for what it really is. Transparency, consistency and accountability aren't high on the agenda at many Singaporean GLCs, and this needs to change fast. One of the issues affecting morale at SIA is that the organization's culture is what I term a "Culture of Fear" (my own words). Making things non-transparent will only heighten this already difficult situation.

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