Sunday, 9 December 2018

Virgin pilot strike to still go-ahead

Photo Virgin Atlantic
The proposed strike by some Virgin Atlantic pilots set to start on December 22nd for three days is still going ahead according to the  Professional Pilots Union, despite rumours the union is caving in to Virgin pressure.

The dispute is over union recognition, which the PPU, representing around third of Virgin flight deck crew, says isn't forthcoming from the company. It says it had been excluded from discussions over changes to benefits and bonuses.  A spokesperson for the union said that the union had conducted a work-to-rule action for two years to get recognition by the airline.  The last straw occurred when the PPU was deliberately excluded from negotiations after Virgin Atlantic "consistently refused to recognise the PPU as a legitimate and independent union".

The Union spokesperson hoped the airline would acknowledge the mandate the PPU members have given for strike action and "help avoid strike action by recognising the PPU and halt the benefits review that is so damaging to our members' long-term security."

The PPU published details of the turnout, which was 72% or which 71.5% voted in favour of strike action. The strike starting on December 22nd is the first of four planned walkouts. Other strikes dates are planned for December 30th to January 2nd and January 4th to January 7th.

Virgin Atlantic says that they will not allow PPU members to disrupt its schedule and as part of the mitigation and contingency planning Virgin have scheduled US pilots from majority owner Delta to cover for striking colleagues.