Friday, January 4, 2008

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew plan to strike

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew plan two 48-hour strikes this month in a dispute over pay. The flight attendants, represented by the union called Unite, plan to carry out a work stoppage from 06:00AM January 9 through 06:00AM January 11, and again from 06:00AM on January 16 through 06:00AM January 18.

According to a statement issued last month by Unite's press office:

Unite members are calling for a long term solution which addresses the pay differentials between Virgin cabin crew and the crews of its competitors. The staff believe that they have been undervalued for too long and Virgin are failing to recognise their professionalism and loyalty. Their pay lags behind many other airlines who fly the same business and holiday routes. Cabin crew staff working for British Airways can earn up to £10K more than Virgin cabin crew flying the same business routes. On holiday routes Virgin cabin crew can also earn considerably less than many of their competitors.
Virgin Atlantic's Chairman, Richard Branson, told cabin crew in a widely publicized letter, "For some of you more pay than Virgin Atlantic can afford may be critical to your lifestyle, and if that is the case you should consider working elsewhere."

UPDATE January 8, 2008: News media are reporting today that the strike has been called off.