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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 7th Jan 2008, 10:03
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Huyin,

I'm not management (nor do I suspect Scooby is a union 'plant'), so don't have access to some of the information you are after (such as the exact details of aircraft acquisition), and even if I did, it would company sensitive info that I would not dream of publishing on an internet forum. Questions about A346 performance figures are only marginally relevant to the question of striking, and perhaps we have already strayed too far off the core questions anyway with the volume of posts about aircraft purchase and leasing. The original suggestion was that you buy one less aircraft then you have several million available to pay crew pay demands, and the rebuttal is that the aircraft generates the income so without it you don't have the money in the first place. All the other discussion around that is pretty much pointless.

As for the figures, I refer to this news story in the FT dated 14th August 2007, which states retained profit at 6.6m and operating profit at 3.5m. Based on a turnover of 2.2bn, that is a pathetic return on investment, although the reasons cited included "increased price of fuel, the impact of the security alerts at Heathrow and administration costs arising from the government's decision to double air passenger duty from February". Without the Virgin Nigeria loss, the operating profit would have been 32.6m, which is still a tiny return on investment - and you'd be much better off putting you money in a building society.

BTW, I really don't see this as VSLHR vs Scooby. I have a lot of respect for Scooby, and we both work toward a common goal - the best airline we can possibly be. This discussion is purely thrashing out the positive and negatives of the current industrial action. Neither of us have much direct control over it, other than our opinions.

Last edited by vs_lhr; 7th Jan 2008 at 10:44.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 11:34
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Wow Huyin,

That's some serious reading, I scanned it first, then read it again and then again, so much information. Clearly 100's of pages of prune summarised

I dont really have time to respond in detail at the moment other than to correct you that I am a union member, however not a union representative.

The newspaper article you referred to was this one that cited different figures was this one http://allafrica.com/stories/200708210290.html which indeed states that VA have a 49% stake in Nigeria so losses would have been 20Mil (UK) $40m (US), The old story is archived now butthere is summary here from my old prune post http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpos...1&postcount=92

What I did also note whilst searching for this archive (reason post is now longer), given the losses made in Nigeria last year and and how that dented our bottom line, it is interesting to note from that in November they announced to spend N101,375 Billion on new embraer aircraft,
24 aircraft, 10 to be supplied between Sep 2008 and 2011.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200711120989.html


The value of the confirmed 10 alone is 310 US Million !! and 800 Million if all options are exercised. http://finance.optimum.net/optonline?GUID=3769989&Page=MediaViewer&Ticker=ERJ


Of course this is not directly us, but we do have a 49% stake in the company, I guess it isn't doing all that badly after all, .. to declare losses of 80Million (US)last year, kindly giving us half those losses and buy 320 Million (US) worth of kit this year !! but I suppose it isnt loads given their revenue went from 1.88B the year before to 2.14B last year they are obviously doing okay. I wonder if they make a profit this year ?, I very much doubt it probably just another year of increased pax, increased revenue, new aircraft oh and a few more million out of the UK, oops I mean our bottom line becasue we own half {cynic}.

Last edited by scoobydooo; 7th Jan 2008 at 12:03.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 11:53
  #483 (permalink)  
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PPRuNe doesn't see this, or indeed any other thread as being personal i.e. an XXX vs. XXX discussion - it is instead a discussion of the issues arising from the upcoming strike(s).

As always, we strive hard to keep off the personal and play the ball not the player. It is worth pointing out that, so far at least, the Virgin Strike threads have been characterized by courteous, intelligent and informed debate between people that have widely different beliefs and hold very different positions. This has not always been the case with previous such threads with other airlines, and that this is to the credit of All thread contributors, on whatever side of the dispute, whether Cabin Crew or not.




P.S. - Just a heads-up - sometime soon, with the first strike imminent, I'll close this thread and re-start a Mark III version: For housekeeping reasons only, as the topic may attract a lot of attention, and too long a thread can make this difficult.

The next 3-4 days may be difficult for many of you - So let's sign off the last few peaceful hours just as Dan Rather sometimes did - "Courage"
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 12:37
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However, due to the exceptional circumstances we are also seeking approval from the Civil Aviation Authority for minor reductions to our normal minimum crew complements.


Does the above statement by the company not show how desperate they are and does it also not show a massive disregard for the safety of our passengers?

The CAA have a recommendation in place for the minimum number of crew that should be on an aircraft and VS are now requesting for this to be reduced. How safe will passengers feel on an aircraft that is crewed by people who do not fly regularly and also that the minimum number of crew recommended by the CAA has been further reduced! I'm very very surprised that Virgin in prepared to compromise the safety of passengers and their own crew to operate a near normal schedule!!!
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 12:48
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Indeed 016FSM, however these days whilst we have safety as our first priority many of our passengers believe it is not the primary reason we are there (as has been discussed on a virgin dedicated website).

This is when the commander as s/he does everyday asks themselves, okay are we happy and are we safe? This happened in the recent Air France strikes because some of the pilots felt that the crew compliment was not safe and refused to go without adequate crew, a difficult call for anyone bowing to commercial pressure or marginal safety issues.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 12:49
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Difficult Days Ahead

I have read the 25 or so pages of this thread with interest and have watched both union and VS management turn up the pressure on the cabin crew in what sometimes seems to be akin to bullying and that is coming from both sides! There is a war of brinkmanship going on and both sides are catching the cabin crew in the crossfire.

What is about to happen at VS is the destruction of friendships, relationships and working practices that have been built up since Virgin despatched its first flight. Strikes put people against each other; friend against friend, colleague against colleague. When the situation is resolved the union guys and management will get back together and resolve their differences but will that happen between the crew members themselves? You bet it won't. Grudges will be borne, differences not forgotten and relationships destroyed. Strikes are hugely divisive especially in an environment where the operation depends on successful team efforts.

MAGICE asked about entering company premises during a strike - quite simply you are not allowed in them! If you do, you can be either construed as reporting for work or be removed as a trespasser. Similarly you cannot use your company provided parking pass or you may be re-charged for your parking since you have withdrawn your labour and have no right to use the company provided parking permit!

I have been involved strikes in other areas of the transport industry and there is never a winner since strike puts crew member against crew member simply because they feel differently about a common issue and be under no illusion, the differences about who did what will not be forgotten quickly.

My thoughts are with all those girls and boys who have worked hard to get their wings and who enjoy doing their job who now feel intimidated or pressured by what the union and management are doing. Don't be fooled, this is a game both sides want to win, the union because they have to look good to their members - how many paid union officials are foregoing their salaries in support of the strikers? Similarly the company want to beat the union into submission. Perhaps the cabin crew should represent themselves?

In a company that is so concerned with its public image and how it is perceived, instead of trying to save the planet and appear to be "environmentally friendly, Richard should try and save his staff and appear to be an "employee friendly" employer. If you treat your staff like S**t, your customers perceive your operation as s**t, treat them well, look after them and make them happy at work, then it will bring you even more customers.

Of course that used to be the whole ethos of Virgin Atlantic, sadly it seems to have disappeared amid much chest beating and non stop TV adverts for Virgin Holidays.

Richard, through these forums and those of V-Flyer and the media, VS's dirty washing is being hung out in public. The boys at Waterside will be laughing all the way to the bank! The only way forward is compromise - Both sides should call in ACAS now, get round the table and hammer an acceptable deal before you lose all your key account business customers to others and all the excellent work done by all your crews is destroyed because people are playing power games!
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 12:55
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Scooby,

It's a bit of a tangent from the strike thread, but the Virgin Nigeria deal may or may not have been a clever idea on VS's part. All businesses are expected to lose money in the first few years (look at Virgin America), and if it turns good then it'll be a significant chunk of revenue. The key word is 'if', purely because I have no real feeling for whether there is stability in that region. It strikes me that if it starts to make cash, the local authority could reverse the agreement and VS just get left with the start up bills and no share of the benefits. But I'm no expert on Nigerian aviation, so can't really be sure what will happen there.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 12:59
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Devil Virgin Service

Well after all the haranguing that has been going on here - and to be frank I am inclined to agree with Monty Casino - my daughter and her Durban husband are off tomorrow morning from Gatwick by Virgin "steerage" to Le Sport Hotel, St Lucia so I look forward to hearing how things went on their return. I just hope that crew morale does not degenerate into backbiting and hostility because the only losers witll be cabin crew themselves.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 13:57
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Vs_lhr

Yeah, a bit of a tangent, but we are indirectly involved when you consider that 20M GBP came out of our companies profits which could of been distributed accordingly, I bet the company didn't budget to lose that amount of money, and has to find it somewhere, so it actually does effect us directly.

Saying that, I dont know how much me we put up to start with ? I foresee the situation the same as you do also that VA UK Ltd will never see any profits come back into the company from Virgin Nigeria. I dont see the local authority reversing it's agreement but as we all know that part of the world is about as corrupt as you can get, money can buy many things. ThI am very confident that we will never see any profit from Virgin Nigeria declared on the VA Uk Ltd balance sheet, loan repayments with interest perhaps, but not profit declared on the VA UK accounts. Which begs many questions.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 14:09
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loan repayments with interest perhaps, but not profit declared on the VA UK accounts
Well, the interest would be a profit, but I hear what you're saying. I just can't make my mind up about the whole Nigeria thing yet other than it seems to be an enormous distraction for very little return.

Didn't Dicky make some announcement around the time of launch that it was going to be a blueprint for other Virgin subsidiaries around the globe?

I hope they've got a better plan for implementing those than Nigeria - I doubt we could afford many more.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:49
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And the breaking news is that the Strike is off!
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:52
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If you could provide a source please, thanks.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:52
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You can't leave it at just that, what's the lowdown?
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:52
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Statement from VAA and Unite on I-fly
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:55
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The low down is that CC (?) have agreed to accept 4.8% now and RPI next year
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 16:58
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is that without the standby then ?
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 17:11
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Just read it on cc.com, if the no extra standby is in there this is great news and a fantastic starting block moving forward, the commitment to review calculation in 2009, I presume this addresses the worry that if RPI had been too low it can be addressed and even more importantly the commitment to review the consultative structure. I interpret this as communication efficiently at all levels. Would just like confirmation about the the standby thing before I get too happy.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 17:23
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Excellent news.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 17:25
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Yup, after all that, the strike is off!! Good news for everyone!!
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 17:26
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Does this mean I dont have to takem my laptop down route anymore to spend time on here ?
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