The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on many industries. The airline industry, in particular, has been hit the hardest by the crisis. In September 2020, Singapore’s national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) laid off about 2,400 crew.
Amongst the affected staff is Aoi, a former SIA stewardess, who took to her YouTube channel to share the entire retrenchment process.
In the almost 7-minute-long video, Aoi said that she first received an email the airline on 10 September, asking her to go down to the office on 15 September.
There was no mention of retrenchment in the email even though the retrenchment already ping ping piang piang in the news liao.
And alas, Aoi was amongst the 2400 staff who was asked to leave – because bo bian, Singapore core mah, so need to ask the foreigners to say bye-bye first.
Aoi shared that due to the COVID-19 restrictions, about 20 to 30 affected staff were gathered in a hall, where they informed the affected staff of their dismissal.
The airline apologised and relayed to the staff that they have to let go of their “valuable and dedicated” employees as a result of an unprecedented travel paralysis brought about by a global pandemic.
After that, the staff checked their contract individually and returned their employee ID cards.
Aoi noted that during the process, everyone was surprisingly calm and prepared as they deal with the dismissal. No one was crying or upset.
Maybe their heart inside already prepared liao.
Thankful for Singapore Airline
While Aoi was sad about the retrenchment, the former flight attendant who is in her late twenties shared that she was very grateful for SIA for holding up until September while the other airline companies such as Virgin and Emirates started their layoffs in May 2020.
Despite being told that the airline would not guarantee that it would rehire the staff, however, the staff were apparently told that they would be welcome back again when the situation improves.
And of course, stewardesses must also keep their body in shape, so that they can wear the SIA uniform again lah.
Will Aoi want to work as a cabin crew again?
When asked if Aoi will want to be a kong-zeh again, Aoi said that she is not sure she would want to continue to work as an SIA air stewardess again if the company rehires in another 3 to 4 years’ time. Because kong-zeh mah, the company would also prefer to hire younger women.
Unless SIA starts rehiring again in the next 1 or 2 years lah, then maybe she will consider joining the airline again.
At the moment, Aoi was quite heng to be able to find a new job, and she is planning to continue to work in Singapore for the next few years.
She shared that she is ready to put her feelings behind and move on from her previous job, so she can explore the new world which she haven’t experienced yet.
Meanwhile, she will continue to upload more videos on her YouTube channel – YouTuber wor. Neh you see, everyone needs a second skill! Faster go use your SkillsFuture Credit to learn a new skill!
Support for the aviation sector
To continue to support the aviation sector, the Gahmen has done all it can to support affected workers.
They have been working with NTUC and industry partners to replace the workers in jobs, help them transit to other industries or enrol them in suitable industry attachment and traineeship programmes.
The Singapore Airlines Staff Union (SIASU) and Scoot Staff Union (STSU) had also worked with the management over the past six months on measures to avoid retrenchment as much as possible.
Haiya, faster go away lei COVID-19, lao niang want to travel soon!!!
Meanwhile, in case you kaypo (or tiko), you can watch Aoi’s full video below: