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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:08
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Thats if you can park in the car park!!!
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:09
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my imagination is part of my "virgin flare" , of course I hope you know I wasnt serious... would probably be MkI handbags no gucci.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:14
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my imagination is part of my "virgin flare" (sic)
...and that truly is one of the many reasons why us mere customers love the airline.

I only hope the airline remains after all this is over.........
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:27
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Doesn't this guy know his figures?!! Not everyone voted for strike action - only 1497. And what's going on at his union - hear that one VAA rep has resigned and others about to. Why doesn't he call off the strike and accept the 4.8% on our behalf?
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:36
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Because the 4.8% offer is no longer there. He's too late, he's ballsed it up to much already.

I say a "vote of no confidence" in the union and except whatever is given, then try again in April. We wont lose face with the company because they will realise what we have done in throwing the union out and will possibly treat us with more respect for doing so!!!
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:36
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Why doesn't he call off the strike and accept the 4.8% on our behalf?
re accept the offer - Becasue the crew said no to the 4.8% with strings attached deal.
re call off the strike becasue the crew said yes to strike, not him.

He is acting on our votes.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:38
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72 % votes to strike is a vote of no confidence in the company, not the union.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:50
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72% of the 60% or so of Unite members that could actually be bothered to return their vote.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 15:52
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But Scooby, you must realise that nothing will be gained from striking. And if you do realise that then something must be done. But What?

If everyone goes to work the Company have "won" (gained nothing), If a minority of people(which it looks like being)strike Company "Win" (again nothing gained).

Dont get me wrong the Company as well as the Union should never have let it get this far and are both to blame, and we should not forget the "crew" themselves for not accepting the last offer when it was on the the table with the union backing it.

The fact still lies someone need to be accountable and that pretty much lies with the union considering that they are PAID for getting the best deal and fighting for what the crew WANT(still no one knows) which is precisely why they should go. They have not done what has been asked from them and PAID for.

We all no that is no confidence in the company right now but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about it because there is no money and there will not be another offer to restore it. I agree that once this is all over with some management should not and probably wont be here but that is a long way away.

If the MAJORITY sack the union you show that the "crew" are united and know what they want. Show them that you will do the necessary to get what is deserved but do it in a way that can be "won" and i assure you it is not Striking......
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 16:09
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But if we sack the union, what are our options? I agree that Unite has been pathetic over the last year. But I'm scared to leave, and become non union. What happens if I get into trouble, and need their help? Is there another union we can go to?
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 16:34
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sacking the union is not a viable option. After this has ended restructuring the union is very viable and necessary and can be discussed at the mass mettings next week, lets put the questions forward about improving communications.

Regarding your strike scenarios

If everyone goes to work the Company have "won" (gained nothing), If a minority of people(which it looks like being)strike Company "Win" (again nothing gained).


There is one you missed, "a large number of crews go on strike and severely disrupt the programme (which from what I am hearing looks like it will be) the crew members win", how, by showing the company we are united and will not be taken for granted.

Then the company gets the message and make a sensible offer without strings and a plan moving forward then the restructuring referenced above can be put into place.

By not offering for example (this is hypothetical) 5% no strings at a cost of circa 3.3M per annum assuming crew distribution as (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=3801642&postcount=116) assuming it is all PAYE rather than paid another way.


It will cost the company much more in lost bookings as strikes continue and passengers decide to book elsewhere, as someone has already said a lot of business accounts have stopped already. The company saying there is no more money to offer and a final offer has already been made, was said after day one also, and subsequent offers transpired (all but one horrendous). The boy who cried wolf is now being chased by the wolf.

As already said, there needs to be improved communication channels moving forward, however is there any point in these if a company is not willing to invest in its staff as it has demonstrated so far but has invested elsewhere, likewise the talk of future profits going to green projects... that will be airshare worthless in its current profit related format rather than turnover.


Latest i-lie update, if you are having trouble getting through to the volunteer line due to high volume of calls. Oh that's funny.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 16:57
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The company saying there is no more money to offer and a final offer has already been made, was said after day one also, and subsequent offers transpired
Ah, Scooby. How I missed you over the last few days

This presumes there is a bottomless pit of money; which of course there is not.

As I have already suggested, and no-one has yet provided a rebuttal, is it not feasible the first offer was the best offer they could afford *at the time*. Given enough pressure, they can go back to their spreadsheets, see what savings can be made elsewhere (and that includes the crew having to make concessions to help pay for that) and then come back with a revised offer.

Since you and I last discussed the matter of the cost of funding crew pay demands, I have found the latest profit figures post earlier in 2007. In it, Virgin only made marginally over 3m. That would be wiped out by your 5% no strings demand; so I can totally understand the resistance from the management.

Now, it has to be said that the pathetic profit numbers are mostly due to Virgin Nigeria eating about 40m of the company's turnover; and I do wonder whether there is a long-term future in which Virgin Nigeria will give the company a return. I do hope so, otherwise it was an unholy mistake.

Back to the rises; I actually think you deserve more than 5% (pick yourself off the floor, Scooby!). I've studied the last CAA figures and genuinely think a realistic goal should be an average cc wage of about 15K. That would be an average rise (based on the same CAA figures) of around 11%-12%. The important part is how do you get there. Not all in one step - that would be unmanageable for the company's delicately balanced annual operating plan. And you would have to make deeper concessions on benefits and terms, otherwise the company isn't going to wear it. I support the idea of building some kind of incentive into the deal so that the sickness problem can be reduced (and therefore leave more money in the pot to reward those who actually fly).

But, I still think the strike is a big mistake. The company isn't going to budge (they're going to too much effort to prepare for the long haul, if you'll excuse the pun). The strike will cost the company money, and yes, that will be an excuse for no payrises for a long time (for any employee). If there was any way to avoid the action, but get prepared for negotiations in April, I'm pretty sure the company would be amicable to avoiding another long drawn-out dispute. Whether the company thinks the union is toothless or not, the very threat of strikes effects business, and VS need to avoid any more of that. One thing though - the union needs to be beaten into shape and realise what their responsibilities are, or shown the door.

Hope your New Year was a good one, Scooby
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 17:14
  #373 (permalink)  
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Well i must say your union sounds about as good as Maxjet !!!

Good luck with the strike and i hope you are happy with whatever you can get !!!

See ya at the office when you picket
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 17:27
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I vote...sack the union and company management and put Scooby and vs_lhr in charge! It would be soon sorted then...

I'm sorry I just think this is a mess, on both sides. And I can now only see the union losing this one. I think the last pay offer was a good one as a starting point, but using a strike as a stick to beat the company just isn't going to get anywhere. The idea that came from a lot of posters is there will be an 11th hour deal. There won't.

I think the CC are worth more, I do, and I wish you the best of luck. Just think its a tough fight you now have.

RP
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 17:39
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Good post vs_lhr, I agree with you 100% - (I didn't pick myself up off the floor, so now you are down here with me as you have just hit it too - people will talk )

So I see a couple of ways of doing this, either you come over to mine and we hammer out a deal or I come to yours....

Just kidding so given that you and I have already discussed things that need addressing moving forward namely;


From employees point of view;

Basic, Trip Pay,Length of service recognition (financial), Crew down, Allowances ,car parks, promotions/fast track (transparent) the list goes on and on

From company point of view;

Sickness, sickness, sickness, increased productivity (what else does the company want ? (that is a genuine question).


So how do we get there, I see a number of ways. Hammering out for example a 3 year deal to try and ascertain these things, this however would take a lot of negotiating and at present time is of the essence, we all want to get something acceptable to both sides imminently to call the strikes off. So... a 3 year deal, good for the company but time scales do not support it, also not great for the crew because there is not much ability to review the progress of it yearly.


How about a 1 year deal (which is nearly up) which for example offers 4.3% basic with no strings, the 0.5% difference is redistributed into trip pay for juniors and seniors. I think the next set of negotiations are set to be in April time, 5 months away, so in the next 5 months the reps along with the unions and management try to create a 2 year deal to as you say bring us inline.

That leaves the standby month that the company wants, well no one wants it, however if we can reduce crew sickness then we can hopefully reduce the requirement for standby cover, so why not agree to introduce the extra month of standby in 5 years for a period of e.g. 18 months only and then as phase II of improvements are implemented it is removed (phase II discussed below) but it would have to be contractual that after 18 months it is gone and could not just be re-agreed through council agreement.

As I mentioned before (sorry record player) we both know that if correct manning levels are attained and crew came to work through less sickies and the incentives were there, there would not be an issue - sounds very basic, but it;s one hell of a formula but we need to address it because right now, there is more sickness each year, so the company wants more standby - if we dont instigate serious changes in 10 years time we wont have rosters everyone will just be on standby 11 months a year !


So how I think a 2 year plan could be achieved;


In order to reduce sickness it must be, not expensive to not come to work, that's the wrong word, how about "lucrative" for crews to come to work so phase I of deal II targets trip pay, and we see what this does for sickness, if on comparing historical data it shows reduced sickness we increase crew down payments, if less crew are going sick the hit is not as hard to the company (we review sickness again after a period of time). In phase II of deal II we look at bringing basics in line a bit more, again reviewing sickness to see what sort of impact this has, if positive we we further enhance crew down payments.

Imagine a league table with number of sickness last year and the company publishes it monthly, target to start with is for example 90% of same time last year, if this is achieved crew down payments are increased by 10% (that's 10% of the new decent amount not piddly 5 etc). At each review stage say quarterly if targets are achieved the crew down payments increase, it is now in the crew best interests to not take the sickie. Rank results too, it would be nice to see the results by rank, if certain ranks are worse than others (I have my guess of what is worse) but perhaps as mentioned below if a.n. rank achieves its target and another doesn't, the low ( sickness by % obviously not including long term) rank achieves an increase.



At the same time we need to look at crew turnover, are we recruiting the correct sort of people, why is it so high, how can we keep experienced crew.

If we can get everything just right then crew will go the extra mile, sickness should reduce, crew feel valued (especially through length of service pay). increased productivity should happen as a by-product of all of the above without the need for expensive crew down payments.

I have other ideas too, like the value of crew down payments are linked to length of time in the company e.g. a unit value x years served, i.e. if you are a 4 year serving senior your crew down payment is higher than a 2 year, or it could be linked to rank (though the fast track scheme or the my mum knows someone or your boyfriend is a cpm thing makes this a bit messy)


Obviously when I say lucrative to be at work we cant discriminate genuine long term sickness (> 7 days with a docs note)


Well, those are just a few ideas rolling around in my head, shall we get up off the floor now .


Loving the new Year, lots of resolutions, broke the no prune one after 4 days !

apologies for the format, I just kind of brain dumped (that's why there's not much)

Last edited by scoobydooo; 4th Jan 2008 at 17:57.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 18:38
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Scooby / vs_lhr

Reasonable, considered and well informed discussion!!

Virgin Management / Amicus please take note...........

THIS IS HOW IT CAN BE DONE!!!

Seriously, thanks and well done guys, great posts.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 18:46
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Scooby, are you a union rep? If not i nominate you!! (If you are, what have you been playing at)

Not sure if all your ideas would work but at least its a start. At last this thread conjuring up some good ideas, keep it up.

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Old 4th Jan 2008, 19:27
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Do you not think we are worth it?
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 19:35
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Sorry everyone, just getting carried away whilst reading VS_LHR.

Been a very keen ovserver for soooooo long, just wondering what my colleagues really think- flyer and ground included.

I am, as my title refers, an 01... I am one of the few that have been rostered to fly on the 9th.....I talk to everyone I know, crew and management alike.....I have talked to friends and family....it comes down to one thing for me.....I will be at home, I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror everyday I come to work to sell my soul.....there are many like me that will be at home so no-one will be on their own.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 20:16
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From my memory of the strikes in the 1970's, wasn't there an outfit called ACAS to get involved in such a dispute to try and broker a deal?

If ACAS do exist, then their services are really needed now to try and bring both sides together. After all, if ACAS have resolved some of the hardest industrial disputes then aren't they the right people to step in here?
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