The Air-Transport Executive Staff Union (AESU) was born on 4 January 1965 when 31 executive officers sought registration of what has been known as the Malaysian Airways Executive Officers’ Union. In its infancy it concluded a collective agreement with the Management of Malaysian Airways Limited.
On 1 April 1967, as a consequence of a change of name from Malaysian Airways to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, the Union was renamed the Malaysia-Singapore Airlines Executive Officers’ Union. Then in October 1972, when Malaysia-Singapore was divided with the consequential formation of Singapore Airlines, the Union underwent yet another name-change and become the Air-Transport Executive Staff Union, or AESU.
Numerous people were involved in the birth of the Union. Among the pioneers are people like Mr V V Singam, Mr Wong Kim Fong, Mr Peter Lian, Mr A C Leong, Mr Soon Kia Seng, Mr Jeffery Koh and Mr Lim Leng Chye who served on the protem committee of the Malaysian Airways Executive Officers’ Union.
Membership of the Union stood at a mere 70 in 1967 but grew steadily to 90 in April 1972. By the end of 1973, AESU enjoyed a modest membership of 120. This doubled to 240 in September 1976 and by December 1979 it grew to 360 representing 80% of confirmed staff in the Administrative Grade of the SIA Group of Companies. Today, the Union is proud to have represented the majority of the middle-management staff within the SIA Group of Companies.
AESU is amongst the earlier pioneers in the concept of unionization for middle-management executives. It is affiliated to the NTUC and is involved in all activities of trade union to obtain and maintain for its members, just and proper levels of wages and reasonable terms of employment.