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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 1st Jan 2008, 17:41
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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I am sorry to have commented on your struggle, mine was a generalised reality check of the industry in general, personally I think you should earn as much as any BA cabin crew as you do a similar brilliant job on board with considerable inferior Terms and Conditions i.e. pension, rest, days off after trips etc etc and I sincerely wish you all the luck in your struggle/fight if it will ever go ahead.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 17:42
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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"I ask Mr Spanner do you think its a fair wage? And dont bother saying go elsewhere coz thats not what i'm asking."

No JB it's far from a fair wage, what i was asking was can i volunteer to work as CC for a couple of days & get the 150 quid strike busting pay??? Obviously would hope 5 CC did the strike bit on my flight so i could get another 260 quid!!! On the subject of volunteers, if LM's phone has been going mad with CC offering their services why pay this large amount!!! Contingency plan my ar$e, panic stations more like!!!!!

What goes around comes around, me & my mates left BA to join VS & got a pay rise, but SRB wants you all to leave because he doesn't want to pay as much as BA!!!! Glad i'm on the spanners & not the brewers
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 18:16
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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My apologies, I didn't mean to offend ANYONE who works in an office, I was not implying that they have the life of 'riley' who ever he may be!! But my point was that they have more reasonable hours on the whole, they have access to breaks when they really need one and they can get away for a few minutes when things really get tough and most of them are paid accordingly for the job that they do, whatever it may be! They can even go to the toilet when they need to! If I need to go to the toilet around breakfast time or after a meal service, it's hard luck, I have to queue along with the rest of the passengers as we don't even have a toilet for the crew to use!


"On the subject of volunteers, if LM's phone has been going mad with CC offering their services why pay this large amount!!! Contingency plan my ar$e, panic stations more like!!!!!"

This point is very very true!! They keep telling us how much support they have been getting by those who want to help during the strike and how many volunteers have come forward, yet why the offer of money? Virgin hate giving more than they really have to so I can only presume, they are starting to getting a little bit nervous, after all, they have said they will only be cancelling 3 flights per day!! That's Virgin's "we can manage without you" response and RB confirmed it!!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 19:05
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Devil Union figures.....

I keep hearing about differences of pay scales and London Weighting etc but some contributors who are clearly VCC do not appear to know these. Has Unite given EVERY member an EXACT line by line breakdown of the differences between their staff at Virgin and other airlines operating similar routes. If not, why not? If the answer is yes then they surely have not been able to present it in a way that EVERYBODY understands. Come on UNITE put the facts and figures before everybody on VCC staff - member or non-member. Why not also give it to the press? They don't all gasp for Virgin advertising and freelance journalists would welcome hard facts they could quote. There are plenty who would be happy to knock SRB off his pedestal temporarily. BUT Unite your job is to secure satisfactory terms and conditions WITHOUT resorting to strike action so in a sense you have failed every one of your members. Can you reply with a detailed breakdown? I am not an employee of any airline, nor a journalist.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 19:13
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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016FSM, I am also a 016FSM and have been here as long as you, if not longer.

I would like to point out a couple of things, having been here 20 years myself and knowing many people in the office.

The office staff don't get any overtime at all. You did get extra allowances for working Xmas and also the offer to take someone away with you, confirmed for 100 and most probably in J.

The flight I operated over Xmas, which was great, all the companions were sitting in U/C both ways and everyone went to the Clubhouse prior to the flight both ways, not a bad perk.

I am just trying to point out that for the amount of times that I come to work each month (4-5) I don't think I'm paid that badly. 2300 per year, 6000 in allownaces, 2000+ in trip pay and commisson.

I know I have to use my allowances to live on while I'm away, but I have to take all the above into account when I am looking at an overall package that I can earn per year, and it's currently stands at about 31,500. I also need to take into account the felxibility that we have at crew at VS.

If I was working in the office then I'd be coming to work each day, 5 times a week, buying lunch etc each day. I don't have to do that.

I hear lots of people moaning about having one request per month. Talk to your friends at other airlines and see how many they get. BA hardly get any.

Is it the best in the world? No it isn't. Do I want more money? Hell yes. Will I work during the stirke? Yes I will. I can't afford not to be earning money and I can't afford to see VS go into another 9/11 situation where they have to downsize to pay for the stirkes.

I've been here before and want to move on from this. I want us to go into the next negs with a better, stronger union. One that is totally committed to working together and one that listens and communicates with us.

Anyway Happy New Year to you all
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 19:31
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Well Done Virgin89 for a fantastic post and perhaps people will read that and realise a few things.

My guess is they will find everything about that negavtive and wrong.

Well done for putting on a constructive post without having to resort to mud slinging towards a company and SRB that have given crew a job in the first place.

I also agree you do deserve more money and that a strike is not the best way foward...Virgin will loose money..and there will be no pay rise as they will have to get out of the mess that the crew has put the company in.

Again yes you do deserve more money!!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 19:36
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Hey Virgin89, I hear what you're saying! We are all highlighting the negative aspects of working for VS and of course there are some positive ones as well. I have also flown many times in J and now like you, have unlimited upgrades whenever I fly.

However, we're probably both around the same age, 30 ish, (if only!!) and after all the years with the company, we should be paid in line with other airlines' number 1's/FSM's, NOT counting BA as they are in a league of their own.

I don't count allowances cos they are to spend down route, they are subsidency allowances supplied to cover the cost of food drink and passing the time of day whilst away and I spend them as such, also changing dollars into 's at the current exchange rate is a waste of time, you lose too much. So we come home with around 1500 per month, that's not even double of that of a junior flt attendant who has been here no time at all let alone over 20 years. And in case you weren't aware, our salary has not even trebled in 21 years of employment with the company. Can you be proud of that because I can't!

At the end of the day, it's the money that gets paid into my bank account that pays my mortgage, bills, council tax, shopping bills and feeds my kids! All on 1500 per month! If I could get another job to supplement my salary, I would, but with 2 or 3 days off between flights if I worked on those, my kids wouldn't know who I was!!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 19:42
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PS! May I just also add, that I have said over and over again, that I will not be striking as I don't beleive it will benefit us in anyway!! I think those who strike will be discreetly singled out by the company and will spend the rest of their days doing hard labour and being carefully watched whilst the company waits for them to slip up.

I DO enjoy my job and don't want the company to get into the mess it was in after 9/11. It would be very difficult for me to leave and find a job elsewhere now after all these years so I HAVE to like it or lump it! However, the company have to know that they cannot continue to pay a wage which is significantly lower than the vast majority of other UK based airlines EXCLUDING BA!!

Happy New Year!! Let it be a prosperous and healthy one for us all!!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 20:57
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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The office staff don't get any overtime at all.

Incorrect. They do. Its a fact.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 21:16
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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"The people who make up Virgin Atlantic make Virgin Atlantic" quote from SRB on VAA website. Funny because thats not the impression I got with his latest statement!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 23:11
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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VS LHR:
I know that you are trying to keep the peace and you are doing a good job of it so far, but now perhaps you get the picture on how we feel daily? 016 painted an unfair but generalised picture of office staff; since this thread began cc have had mud slung at them from all directions, with posters saying our job is easy, takes no training and any old school leaver could do it! Not nice to hear I'm sure you will agree, but we're cabin crew so guess what? we put up with it!
Yes, I would agree that the majority of punters don't really have much of a perception of what crew do beyond serve drinks. That dreadful YouTube video posted on here earlier is a classic example. However, you've also got to appreciate that some crew think they're in a unique position having a tough job. That, unfortunately, doesn't win many friends if the person you're saying that to has their hand down a toilet 8 hours a day, or rips the gizzards out of chickens for a living. I think we all need to keep it in perspective here. Emergencies onboard are (thankfully) not everyday occurrences; travelling the world is still a luxury for most and the good passengers, for the most part, outweigh the bad ones.

I look at the CAA figures, and as far as I can tell, VS crew are a couple of thousand behind the rest of the pack (excluding BA, who for various reasons have rather a stonking deal, and to be honest, if I had an inclination to fly, that's were my application would be going!); but VS aren't the worse off. Most notably, the second largest airline out of Heathrow, bmi, is behind Virgin paying an average of 12.9K to its crew. I have to say, bmi is a closer match to Virgin than the My Travels, Thomsonfly or Monarchs being a full service, scheduled operator out of mainline airports. I'm not sure why the charters pay a couple of grand more, although my guess would be that's what they need to pay to attract enough staff? Probably. Regardless of your personal thoughts of SRB and the airline during this dispute, there is more 'cache' in saying you're Virgin Atlantic crew rather than My Travel (no offence to My Travel crew!).

So is this why Virgin (and bmi for that matter) can get away with paying so little? Is it also the reason why attempts to push beyond 4.8% have met with so much resistance?
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 08:13
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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FAO sign-it-to-your-room

I work in The Office. I do not get overtime. Some people I know do. It depends on what job you are doing and what department you work in.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 09:40
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A very close relative of mine works in the office, she gets no overtime and nearly everyweek works over her 40hrs per wk, she has to pay for her lunch and coffee/snack breaks and she is so under pressure at times that the only place she could go was the toilets to take a 5min chill.

Before starting at virgin i worked in office of 10yrs and belive you me i work more than my contracted hrs and NEVER got any overtime, we got timo off in Lieu which was quite ridiculous becase there was never any time to take it. and in the summer months i would be working from 7am til 8 maybe 9 in the evening to meet the requirments of my job. I when i work another office job we started 8.30 til 6 mon - fri, half hr for lunch no inbetween breaks, we also had to work 2 saturdays a month now work that out thats about 198hrs a month, we do roughly 80 - 100 per month, for an average office job times by 12 and thats 2376hrs a yr. We only do 900hrs.

In my opinion since i started with virgin i think the job is a peice of cake it's not hard at all i think it is one of easiest jobs i have done, and i just get on with it. it is sometimes dissapointing tho when we just don't have the tools to delivers the goods on some occassions. My typical day before starting at virgin was -Mon - thurs up 0600, work at 0730 - finish at 1830 may 1900 go home then bed. Friday - up 0600, work 0730 - finish 1800, then drive to my 2nd job start 1930 and finish at 0300, get home at 0400 and bed. i also work on saturday from 6pm til 3am at my second job, i did this for 7yrs.

Don't get me wrong cc can be difficult at times but, come on we have a good job, get to go to places every week, whilst people are in offices doing their 9-5 we are on a beach, or shopping or at a gym or just chilling out. I couldn't ask for anymore, whenever i come back from trips and i'm on the underground of train travelling back to central London i just look the commuters faces and see how miserable they all look and thats how i was when i was in office.

have i waffled on too long
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 10:19
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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Virgin89, great post, I like what I hear from you.

016FSM, you need to plan your time more wisely you know when breakfast starts and when the meal service ends so go to the toilet when its not rush hour!

When I fly with you will I find you sat at R1 or in your office doing your 'paperwork'

The office staff dont get to work then work for 3 hours then go and lie down in crew rest for upto 4hours!! They work from 9 to 530 if not longer and have a lunch break of one hour.

Im sure on your east coast flights you always give breaks when you can and I bet you always split the breaks into 2 instead of 3 to offer the longest break possible!!!
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 10:31
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Folks there is no point waffling on about the working conditions of office based workers - its like comparing apples with oranges. Office based work doesnt include half the tasks or responsibilities that Cabin Crew are faced with - thats not to in any way undermine the hard work that office based workers often have to undertake, but its just so totally different from flying that comparing other jobs with flying really is a waste of everyones time.

Cabin Crew is a great job - no one here is denying that, and there are certainly lots of brilliant aspects/perks - but at the end of the day, perks don't pay the bills. Sure 2 days in SFO or a couple of nights in Wan Chai are great fun, but they don't pay the bills at the end of the day, unless you Delsey Dine your way around the world - but then that will result in depression, health deteriorating, not enjoying layovers etc.

I agree with the sentiments being posted here by most - a Length of Service based increase/scale for CSS and FSM's, and the rest of the increase spread 50% to wages and 50% to trip pay. That way crew have higher numbers to show the bank as far as Salary goes, and the increased trip pay will help reduce sickness.

Oh and for the record, I no longer work for VS - but still have a lot of passion for that company
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 10:42
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly, as is often the case during labour disputes, people have begun taking swipes at each other rather than at the cause of the problems.

The cause, in this case, is not the poor pay at Virgin (though that is indisputable), but the appallingly badly handled negotiations intended to improve that pay. Both the Union and the Company can hang their heads in shame for so poorly representing the Cabin Crew's interests, and for having totally failed to both understand and address the needs and wants of the CC. The root cause of the discontent and the impasse we find ourselves in now is lack of communication. Communication between Company and Crew, Company and Union and Union and Crew. The communication vacuum is filled, inevitably, by rumour, speculation and conjecture.

The greatest shame is that, because no-one really understood or knew what happened during the negotiations, a minority of CC rejected a deal that would have paid an increase of between 8.5% and 10.5% from April this year compared to what you are getting now, plus backpay of between 4.9% and 5.5% of salary for the period April 2007 to date. Yes, there were one or two conditions attached, but those numbers represented a very considerable increase, and one which no workers in any other field (let alone CC) are likely to achieve in 2008.

The Union has no plan or stated aim for these strikes. It simply wants to put pressure on the Company, but has no clear idea of what that pressure is intended to achieve. You may note the contrast with the BAA dispute, which was about very specific items, and in which avenues of communication were left open.

For the majority of you that either didn't vote, or voted against this strike (and the majority who didn't vote, or voted for the payrise), the solution is in your hands. It shouldn't be, but it is: call the Union. Tell them to get back to the table, in whatever way they can. Call the Company too, if you can, and say the smae thing. Tell them how you feel, and that you understand that communication is the only way a solution will be found. Striking aimlessly is no different to silently sulking after an argument, and will achieve nothing except more bad feeling.

Talking, not fighting, is the only way ahead.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 11:48
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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Virginfun you really need to understand that you can't tar everyone with the same brush! I don't know what flights you've been doing but on my flights, you'll NEVER work 3 hours and then go and lie down for up to 4 in the crew rest, believe me!

Furthermore, I allocate breaks as per company procedure which is in 3 when it's a requirement. My concern is not the maximum amount of rest that I can give to the crew, but the quality of the service in the cabin and the safety of all onboard. If you're flying with people who's main concern is the maximum amount of time they can give to the crew to rest, then that's a very sad thought. My main concern is the passengers, I will always do my best to give the crew a break, but it certainly doesn't take precidence over the service we should be offering! Having said that, I have argued on here that the company should make proper provisions for crew rest, by insisting that we do it in 3, they have made it very dificult for us to arrange a decent amount of rest on some flights and that I feel is very unfair.

And with regard to paperwork, on average my paperwork takes me 40 minutes, the rest of the time I'm working in the cabin like everyone else, in the back, middle and front! I take a great deal of pride in my job and feel that I do it to the best of my capability. There is NOBODY on that aircraft who works any harder than me, there are many who work AS hard though and that's is why I feel that those who give 100% deserve to be paid decently.

I hear many people on here saying they give 100% to Virgin and they love their jobs, but if the main concern of so many crew and FSM's is the maximum amount of rest that the crew can get on a flight, then I certainly wouldn't say that either are doing such a good job! And by the way, if you go on a break that has been split into 2, you are as guilty as the FSM who arranged the breaks of breaching company procedure and if you as a cabin crew member are reported for taking the break, you will face the same disciplinary action as the FSM in question. Remember you never know who is watching you on the aircraft and you are responsible for you own actions. After this strike action if it goes ahead, the company will be looking very carefully to get rid of a few 'trouble makers' and if company procedures are not followed to the letter, do you think you won't be 'carrying the can' for your actions?

Next time you're on a flight and breaks in 2 are arranged, if you take so much pride in your job and feel you do it well, tell the FSM that they should be done in 3 as per company procedure, you may not be popular but you may just save your job if there's someone on that flight watching what the crew are doing!!
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:02
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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Hey, I hear that one of the more longer serving members of our union has resigned from the union as of today.

This may be GFM but the source I heard it from was pretty good. Interesting. Wonder who it is? Any clues

What a mess. Crew that are divided and don't know what to do, followed by union members that are leaving the union as clearly they are as divided as we are.

x
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:56
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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Open questions to all. What deal is being looked for? And please a little more detail than 'fair', 'just', 'deserved' etc. Lets hear about facts and figures. Reading the posts here and elsewhere on the web give a very confused message.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 13:04
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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Here's an interesting post I found on cabincrew.com:



Do not know how true this is but have been told by another crewmember that if a sufficient amount of people email the union reps and state that they would be happy with the last offer the union can approach the company to ask for it to be put back on the table and overt the strikes. sounds a bit too good to be true but maybe worth a shot if any of you feel that strongly? This is my first post, thought i could reach the most amount of people on here!! The person on my flight was saying that they have to receive it by the eve of the 3rd to meet them before any action takes place. Guess we'll see. However you feel about this, just thought you never know!
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