Feroze
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Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:06 pm

Two 48 hour strikes to take place in January.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7154070.stm

Looks like January might be chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick (and other BAA airports), if the BAA strike goes ahead in tandem. Results of that ballot should be announced later today

Edited to add link

[Edited 2007-12-20 06:17:45]
 
nema
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:22 pm

I understand that Virgin Atlantic is 51% owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group and 49% by Singapore Airlines.

I wonder what the comparative pay is for Singapore Airlines?
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gilesdavies
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:47 pm

This comes as no surprise...

I just bet Virgin Atlantic are pleased they have chosen not to strike during the Christmas/New Year travel rush.

There seems to be a common misconception amoung passengers and the public that Virgin Atlantic is a great employer and treats there staff well. This very much use to be the case, but over recent years the crew have felt under-valued, pushed around and loss of many benefits.

I have heard previously from a source that airlines like easyJet and Ryanair pay there crew better than Virgin Atlantic and they are only flying short haul. Traditionally crew who fly long haul, are usually the better paid.

The airline has been hemoraging crew for the last few years, and always seems to be constantly recruiting - despite the airline only growing very conservatively. Its unfortunate that Virgin Atlantic, have not removed their rose tinted goggles and listened to the people they employ.

A quote from a Virgin Atlantic press release on the 2nd Dec:

"Unite strongly recommended this pay offer to their members because it is a very good deal, especially given the challenging environment we operate in. The pay offer reflects the huge contribution that our cabin crew make to the airline’s success and we have been told by Unite that it is the best to be offered by an airline this year. Our cabin crew have also benefited from pay increases of between 20 and 30% over the last four years."

Forgetting to point out, that there salaries have continued to lag behind other carriers for number of years, and despite the above so-called pay rises, they continue to be paid several thousand pounds less than BA Crew flying similar sized aircraft to similar length routes.

[Edited 2007-12-20 06:52:15]
 
APYu
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:51 pm

This is such a shame. The strike will weaken the airline just before its main competition intensifies over the North Atlantic with Open Skies. We know how much strikes can cost, lets hope the airline can survive if this thing drags on and on - it didnt make huge profits last year did it? (I recall lots of loses relating to Nigeria?????). Good luck VS.
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APYu
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:58 pm



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):
Forgetting to point out, that there salaries have continued to lag behind other carriers for number of years, and despite the above so-called pay rises, they continue to be paid several thousand pounds less than BA Crew flying similar sized aircraft to similar length routes.

But dont BA make a lot more money doing it? That may impact the pay.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:01 pm

This comes as no surprise to me, I have heard that VS FA's were paid only just above that which the AI FA's get paid, but that it looked all rosie with all the benefits they got. With those benefits withdrawn or in part lost, SRB is in for a headache and no wonder!!
 
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OA260
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:08 pm



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):
There seems to be a common misconception amoung passengers and the public that Virgin Atlantic is a great employer and treats there staff well. This very much use to be the case, but over recent years the crew have felt under-valued, pushed around and loss of many benefits.

Yes thats the perception they like to market . Is this the first strike in VS ??? I have never heard of them going on strike before.
 
CRJ900
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:17 pm

VS FAs are often criticised in trip reports on airlinequality.com for delivering a poor quality service. When I went to a BA cabin crew interview some years ago there were lots of VS FAs there too... at the time I thought it would be the other way round, but they just rolled their eyes when I asked...

How can people not love working on the A340-600?? I'll do it for free!!  Smile
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Boeing74741R
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:17 pm



Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 5):
This comes as no surprise to me, I have heard that VS FA's were paid only just above that which the AI FA's get paid, but that it looked all rosie with all the benefits they got. With those benefits withdrawn or in part lost, SRB is in for a headache and no wonder!!

One of the pay offers presented by VS during the negotiations with the union included removing one crew member from A340-600 operated flights.
 
9VSIO
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:22 pm



Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 2):
I have heard previously from a source that airlines like easyJet and Ryanair pay there crew better than Virgin Atlantic and they are only flying short haul. Traditionally crew who fly long haul, are usually the better paid.

I've heard that in fact, the most lucrative jobs are in short haul. Ryanair's pilot reqs are really high, and as such, paid a lot. I overheard a conversation between a few seasoned instructors of mine that Ryanair's FOs are paid much higher than their counterparts on long haul carriers. And they rack up far more hours per year too. In fact, to tell you the truth, I would now rather work for a short haul airline than a long haul one, except that Ryanair won't even look at you unless you already have a 737 rating + 2000 hours, iirc. So don't dismiss the short haulers! More cycles = more cash. Cabin crew also have to do more work as in the same time period, they might have to do two or three flights with very little time to turn the aircraft around and rest, compared to a long haul flight where things go by relatively idlely.

In my experience, the Virgin crew also tend to hide themselves away immediately after a meal service, in stark contrast to some of it's competitors, but that's another story...
Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
 
9VSIO
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:24 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 6):
Is this the first strike in VS

Yes it is.

Quote:
Union members voted 71% in favour of taking the first industrial action in the airline's history

Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
 
APYu
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:29 pm



Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 8):
One of the pay offers presented by VS during the negotiations with the union included removing one crew member from A340-600 operated flights.

They might remove a few more now to save the money the strike will cost. How many over the minimum legal complement do they take?
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:43 pm

The moral here is: when your company is making money, you get paid more.

I'm not sure where this concept of "I should be paid as much as everyone else no matter where I choose to work and who I choose to work for" came from. Unions I guess.

In reality, Easyjet and Ryanair are doing well, they pay their employees better, so why not just go work for them? Because you want the prestige of working long haul and the ability to see more places (and work less, both in hours and on a per flight basis)? Well, then I guess it's VS if you want to be assured of that. But VS isn't doing well financially, so pay just won't be as good. That's just the way it is.
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readytotaxi
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:55 pm

I am due to fly from LGW-MCO on the strike day with BA in Club, do you think I can expect a full cabin with Virgin trying to rebook passengers?
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Boeing74741R
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:57 pm

Quoting APYu (Reply 11):
They might remove a few more now to save the money the strike will cost. How many over the minimum legal complement do they take?

No idea, all I know is that there would've been one crew down than the current levels on A340-600 flights if the pay deal which it was included in would've been accepted.

And obviously one less crew member = slower/poorer service = unhappy customers = unlikely to book again.

The chain reaction continues...

[Edited 2007-12-20 08:58:08]

[Edited 2007-12-20 08:58:22]
 
APYu
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:08 pm



Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 14):
No idea, all I know is that there would've been one crew down than the current levels on A340-600 flights if the pay deal which it was included in would've been accepted.

And obviously one less crew member = slower/poorer service = unhappy customers = unlikely to book again.

The chain reaction continues...

I think they already use more crew than some other airlines on similar planes and they seem to manage without all the customers running away. my equation would be

One less crew member = less crew rest + crews have to work harder + most passengers dont notice much difference

Whether theres 15 or 16 crew the pax wont notice much difference. Perhaps on VS the Cabin Manager may have to do more tasks than simply pour the wine.

On long haul do you really mind if the meal service takes 90 minutes instead of 60? Did droves of passengers leave BA when they culled crew from the 747 after 9-11? The crews just had to work a bit harder, and doing so probably kept the airline going.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
AT
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:12 pm

Is it legal for them to strike?
 
Feroze
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:55 pm



Quoting AT (Reply 16):
Is it legal for them to strike?

Yes, because a ballot of union members was held.

In the UK, only the police and certain health professions (I think) are not allowed to strike. There are others (the military?)
 
GDB
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:03 pm

The military in the UK do not have unions, neither do the Police, though they have a body to speak for the rank and file, called the Police Federation.

I think I'm right in saying that having unions at VS is a fairly recent thing, since uncle Richard is such a benign employer, (the answer to that is, 'well you won't have any objections to staff having a body to speak for them in that case').
 
ikramerica
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RE: Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cabin Crew To Strike

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:10 pm



Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 14):
And obviously one less crew member = slower/poorer service

Or just one less crew member to sit around in the galley, chat about their layover indiscretions, and refuse to give passengers water when asked? That's the state of things at VS right now according to many, many trip reports. Maybe the reason Ryanair and Easyjet staff gets paid more is because they work harder? Just a thought...  Wink
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.