Keeping the Country Running

For many people, New Year’s eve is a time to celebrate with family and friends. But for others, it was business as usual at the workplace. From airport operations to food services, they are the workers who worked throughout the holidays to keep the nation running so that Singaporeans could enjoy the recent long festive weekend.

NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing spent his New Year’s eve on 31 December 2017 showing appreciation to the workers at Changi Airport’s newly built Terminal 4 (T4) and Elsie’s Kitchen Catering Services Pte Ltd, an NTUC U SME partner.

Terminal 4

The new T4 is manpower lean and highly automated. At 5am, Mr Chan sees how the self-baggage check-in works. Passengers can easily drop their bags when checking-in which quickens the process.

Mr Chan hands out tokens of appreciation to workers at Food Emporium food court, operated by NTUC Foodfare, within T4.

A cleaner at Food Emporium food court in T4 chats with Mr Chan. Food Emporium deploys robots to help cleaners in the clearing of trays.

Workers at the immigration clearance and security check section. The X-ray machines used here automatically collect trays while removal of laptops and electronics are no longer necessary. This decreases the waiting time for passengers and helps the Changi Airport Group save 20 per cent of its manpower needs.

The baggage sorting area. Thanks to dnata Singapore Staff Union, Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers’ Union and management partners, workers now enjoy better ventilation and a cooler environment. The roads are also wider to allow cleaners to use machines more efficiently.

Elsie’s Kitchen

Mr Chan with Elsie’s Kitchen Chairman and CEO Daniel Ang (right) and NTUC U SME Director Yeo Guat Kwang (left) at the company’s highly automated rice cooker area in its central kitchen at 10am. One worker can now cook 3,600 portions of rice in one hour compared to three workers requiring nine hours before.

Besides catering freshly cooked food, Elsie’s Kitchen also makes desserts and cold appetisers.

In the food packing room, Elsie’s Kitchen can activate staff to prepare food within two to four hours to meet urgent requests.

In the drinks section at the back of the central kitchen where workers are preparing to make deliveries. Elsie’s Kitchen can do real-time tracking of their deliveries which shows where their trucks are at any point in time. There is also an app for employees to do this.

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