Deeper pay cuts for SIA Engineering management to mitigate Covid-19 impact

SIA Engineering Company's directors have also volunteered a larger reduction in fees. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The management of SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) is taking deeper pay cuts than previously announced, while its directors have also volunteered a larger reduction in fees as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to ground flights.

"In view of the massive flight cuts by airline customers and the increasingly difficult business environment, SIAEC is stepping up its measures to mitigate the severe impact," said the company, which provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, in a bourse filing on Thursday (April 2).

Starting from April 1, the pay cuts have about doubled to 25 per cent for the chief executive officer from 12 per cent previously, and to 20 per cent for the executive vice-president from 10 per cent.

For senior VPs, their 8 per cent pay cut has been brought forward to April 1, from April 15 initially. This will later increase to a 15 per cent reduction starting May 1.

For VPs, the 7 per cent decrease has likewise been brought forward to April 1, from April 15 initially. This will be bumped up to 12 per cent starting May 1.

Senior managers' and managers' pay cut of 5 per cent has been brought forward to April 1, from May 15, and will later increase to 10 per cent starting May 1.

Meanwhile, the SIAEC board has volunteered to slash their fees further, compared with the 12 per cent reduction announced last month. The directors are now taking a 25 per cent cut to their fees accruing with effect from April 1.

The company on Thursday said it has been working closely with its unions on additional measures, such as varying days of compulsory no-pay leave, furlough for staff on re-employment contracts and deferment of salary increments and promotions.

These will be in addition to the voluntary no-pay leave scheme that has been offered to all staff since last month.

The SIAEC group will defer non-essential operating costs, non-essential capital expenditure and the timing of certain payments, it said on Thursday.

"We will also take measures to maintain adequate liquidity over the uncertain duration of this unexpected crisis and severe disruption."

Shares of SIAEC lost $0.02 or 1.2 per cent to trade at $1.63 as at 1.22pm on Thursday.

Meanwhile, The Business Times previously reported that the senior management of SIAEC's parent company, Singapore Airlines (SIA), is likewise taking salary cuts, with the flag carrier's CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong, taking a 30 per cent reduction from April.

Pilots, executives and associates at SIA will take varying days of compulsory no-pay leave, staff on re-employment contracts will be furloughed, while other employees can opt for voluntary no-pay leave.

SIA is also giving staff the option of temporary placements outside the group.

Last week, the airline group proposed a massive cash call comprising a 3-for-2 rights issue of shares and a convertible bond issue to raise a combined S$8.8 billion - fully underwritten by Temasek - as carriers around the world head for a financial crash landing.

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