Virgin Atlantic pilots ballot for strike action
British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) confirmed (16-May-2011) Virgin Atlantic pilots have been unable to reach agreement with the airline on an overdue pay and conditions settlement, despite "marathon talks that started in 2010 and the involvement of the Government's conciliation service ACAS". Some 85% of Virgin Atlantic pilots are members of BALPA. BALPA stated that "with nowhere left to go we have been left with no alternative but to give Virgin management notice of a ballot of Virgin Atlantic pilots for industrial action". The secret ballot will go out on 24-May-2011 and will last for four weeks. "We regret this, but are resolute in our aim of fairness," secretary Jim McAuslan said.
BALPA: "Pilots in Virgin [Atlantic] have not had a pay increase since 2008 ... During the tough years pilots have made sacrifices to help the business on the basis that fair pay would return. But that hasn't proved to be the case. The company is offering pilots an increase this year of 4%, with 3% next year and 3% in 2013. The 4% does not reflect the fact that pilots have not had a rise since 2008, and the proposed 3% increases would mean that with inflation running at 5% and likely to remain high, pilots would, if they accepted these increases, be in effect voting themselves years of wage cuts." Jim McAuslan, Secretary. Source: BALPA, 16-May-2011. [more]