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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 24th Dec 2007, 17:41
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I wonder how the days were picked, BAA have gone for having a few long weekends and we go for mid week.
I strongly doubt there was any collusion about the strike dates between the two groups, it would be illegal. The BAA strike represents serious bad news for Virgin strikers. A Virgin strike would be a bombshell for the managers but the BAA strike will be a thermonuclear weapon. The complete cancellation of the airlines flying program for 24 hours that the BAA strke would cause would more than mask the disruption caused by a Virgin strike. Virgin crew lose two days pay, the company have already taken the financial hit of a strike and so have nothing to lose.
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 18:13
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Each will compound the other, if they had been on the same day then yes no as effective. Take a BA and Virgin destined to a.n. same destination, both outbound cancelled due to BAA industrial action on the 7th . Next day BA have 2 sets of pax to get on the next service, then Virgin strike and would more than likely try to get pax to destination using the other carrier (like when we took BA pax when they striked). Space for another carriers passengers will be very limited due to trying to get their own programme back on schedule.

Result... carnage !
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 04:18
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Thumbs up VS

Not sure to many wil agree with this comment but personally think union should change the strike days from 7 Jan to 17 Jan, full 10 days as to give a reall hard impact along with the BAA strike to, that would be mayhem, two 48 hr strikes, better than nothing I agree, but enough to hit VS hard enough at all. And those that didnt vote etc, yes go sick on the strike days, then you still get full pay, an dont loose the days . No doubt sickness will be watched, but in fairness, how is VS going to prove you didnt vomit at 8m so I couldnt go to san Fran .

Last edited by leisurelad; 25th Dec 2007 at 09:42. Reason: one wrong word
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 06:48
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Leisurelad

I think you show your inexperience and immaturity in that posting.

Firstly, you have identified yourself as one of 17? crew members (possible much less if you are male) on the SFO on the 7th - narrows it down quite a bit

Secondly, it is much harder to manage a series of short stoppages for the company than one longer one. The crewing implications are much greater with MBTR etc etc with short breaks.

Thirdly, if you believe in something you should fully support it, and not take the easy option of going sick - what message does that send to your colleagues and the company.


Note: What I posted before re sickness. It is because it is the easy option that, if it gets to the strike date, that I believe it will be a sick-out rather than a strike-out.

Ho hum, off to work I must go.

Toodle pip and Merry Christmas to all.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 07:35
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If the experience of the passengers on the recent ANU off the runway incident (i was one of them) is anything to go by i'd book another airline pronto.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 09:40
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Thumbs up

Were all entitle to our own say an views are we not. Was just airing mine that was all
Not sure you should make a conclusion I work for vs, as I aired my view on the strike not who I am employed by
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 09:58
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Leisurelad
I am guessing that with an attitude of call in sick, rather than with your union now expecting all members to step to the front and to strike, you are probably one of the 1500 or so that couldn't be ar*ed enough to even return their ballot on whether or not to strike in the first place. If you call in sick, you are deemed in the eyes of the company as striking. Difference is that the union cannot then say we had all 2500 members or so on strike but merely that 3 crew were on the picket line and 2497 reported sick! The mandate and the chances of your union winning your battle are hampered by the fact that so many of you will not get behind it. Unless you really are sick, a mass sick out will cause misery to your passengers but will not strengthen your union's position. If you want to strike, have the balls to do it. Personally, I think that with so few of you returning your ballot, you would have been far better to have taken the deal as offered. The company will now be out to break the union, support it or expect 2%!
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 10:51
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Skreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech.. that was the sound of the brakes being applied as we all stop and pause and remember today is Christmas day. Merry Christmas everyone.

now then ... back to business

Striking and picket lines 2 very different beasts, to strike one does not have to picket, simply not coming to work is striking if you are a union member and due to work on days of action.

Picketing will no doubt be a very delicate issue with the new anti terrorism laws and congregating in groups in certain areas, I await specific guidance as to where we we can legally picket. The main impact will however not be through the picket, it will be through crew not appearing for work.

Right then.. off to work those of you lucky enough to have Christmas at home.... very jealous.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 11:55
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Little bit carried away. Merry Christmas and best of luck.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 15:11
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I think that very few crew would even turn up on the picket line, the majority who do go on strike will just ring up sick.

From speaking to crew online seems that many are still planning on going to work.

This will be really interesting to see what happens in a few weeks time. The majority of crew will not have the balls to create a picket line!!

Guess time will tell, as always!
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 17:53
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Ok Ok, like I said previously was just airing a view thats all. I dont work with you guys at vs, however you seem quite vindictive at the way you speak back towards my post. Only reason I made comment was that have flown 6 times this year on vs, an the crew have been perfect to me. Obviously none of those crew are on this forum .
Good luck to you guys, hope you get what you need and deserve.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 18:29
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Going Sick?

Hey guys, it really surprises me that people are even considering going sick! Is that really not the cowards way out? Surely if you support the argument that we should be paid more then you should support the strike and either not turn in for work or if you wish, stand on the picket line.

If you think it's not the right course of action, then go to work and help the company run the schedule of flights.

I'll tell you one thing though, and by the way, I am in favour on the strike having been in the company over 21 years and during that time, my salary has gone from 8500 when I joined to currently 23900, when I next run into any crew member who complains about the fact that we only get 60 for going to Delhi/Bombay, or they can't come out for a meal in other places because they're saving their allowances, my first question will be, "did you support the strike to fight for better money?"

I have to say that whilst I strongly agree that all Virgin cabin crew are very low paid, I do feel that the offer the company put forward is really not a bad one if you've only been in the company about 3 years, but when you've been here for 15+ that kind of offer doesn't increase our basic to what it should be.

And here's some food for thought, sep instructors in the office, who have been here anywhere from 3 years plus, earn 28500 and have all week-ends and bank holidays off. AFTER the pay deal, had it taken effect, I wouldn't have been on that amount per year!! FSM's are supposed to be manager's, SEP instructors are office staff!! Is there not something wrong in a company where training staff are paid more than manager's?

Also please remember that we don't get increments so an FSM offered the job tomorrow who may have only been in the company 5 or 6 years, will come in on the same salary as I am on after being an FSM for nearly 12 years! These are some of the facts that people are overlooking, not to mention that we get 5 an hour overtime and can fly an 18 hour day without any rest and to that end, on the A340, the company even removed the crew rest area as a cost saving measure so on a 10 hour flight to and from India, the crew had NO REST at all and during that time, there really isn't that much time for a sit down, maybe 10 minutes here or there. But the crew are the first ones to help the company when we have to work 2 or 3 crew down and paid peanuts for doing so, or when crew have to work up a rank when needed as a result of being crew down, or enduring long delays and going into discretion to get the flight and pax away. That's all expected of us and we get little thanks, but ask to be paid the equivalent, not more, just the same as most other carriers and it has come to this!

We have always been paid minimal salaries but our benefits have always been excellent. Over the years however, more and more and more has been taken away from us, so now the benefits are not so amazing as they used to be and this is why, people have become sick of accepting such low salaries. When I joined over 21 years ago, our allowances for a US nightstop were $109, all this time later, they really haven't gone up that much at all, those of you who work for VS, think what we get for a US trip and think, 21 years ago, it was $109!!

Last edited by 016FSM; 25th Dec 2007 at 18:40. Reason: error
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 19:33
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Why is there to be a strike?

I write as a regular passenger and businessman of too many years to count and married to a former Air Stewardess from the days when you had to leave if you got married - so yes - you could call me out of date BUT:
Just ask yourself these questions
Why does your employer pay you less than the competition?
Is it because he simply cannot afford to pay more? (That has long term job security implications for you and everybody else in the Company - the City would also be concerned at this )
Is it because he believes the overall package currently on the table is perfectly competitive? (That suggests your union representatives have failed to get the message across that this is not the case with clear irrefutable comparisons and should try again - and harder)
One of these two questions must be the principle one. Striking is a council of last resort and in my experience when faced with such a dilemma I have found the union representatives very strident in their approach whereas a more subtle negotiaing strategy would have been more successful.
From a distance it seems to me that your union has not argued your point satisfactorily. All the threads that I have read have highlighted areas of anomally and hardship and yet they have fallen on deaf ears with the management when presented to them by the union. I am sure your representatives have done their best but in the tough world of business it simply was not good enough.
Finally, always remember that if the employer simply cannot aford to pay more but wants you back at work something has to give somewhere. Job losses? Corporate difficulties? It s not easy and I wish you all the best of luck but strike - never. There is ALWAYS a better way.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 20:14
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sep instructors in the office, who have been here anywhere from 3 years plus, earn 28500 and have all week-ends and bank holidays off. AFTER the pay deal, had it taken effect, I wouldn't have been on that amount per year!! FSM's are supposed to be manager's, SEP instructors are office staff!! Is there not something wrong in a company where training staff are paid more than manager's?

SEP instruckers work 37.5 hours per week or around 150 hours per month, you only work around 80-90 hours per month.

They get 8 days off per month you get 11 if not more thanks to high hours!

Also there pay has been capped so will not change.

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Old 25th Dec 2007, 22:19
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The types of jobs that we do are completely different so it wouldn't be possible for them to work the same hours as us and vice versa. Their days off are week-ends, our days off are to recuperate from a long haul flight anywhere from 6 to 14 hours long, often without any rest onboard, and to recover from the jet lag before our next trip so that's why we get more days off than someone working in an office. However, I get paid for the job that I do irrespective of the number of hours that I work as do they. My reason for making the comparison was not to compare hours, but to show that someone in the office working 9 - 5 (give or take) with an hour for lunch and a couple of breaks during the day, who has been in the company for less than 5 years, can earn more than someone who has been here in a management role for the last 12 years and who has been very supportive of the company through many many very difficult and trying times!

Their salaries may have been capped and I should think so earning 5k per year more than an FSM with over 21 years experience within Virgin Atlantic!!

In all the years I have been working for Virgin, they have always said around pay negotiation time that there's no money. Either because its been such a tough year, or due to expansion or new routes, or the gulf war 1 then 2 then their screw up over the Reynard seats where we lost millions in revenew because nobody listened when we said the seats were terrible! Then there was 9/11 7/7 and so and so on.

Yes we all know the industry is tough, but not a single year of good profit in 22 years and that's why they can never give us a decent pay rise or so they say! They make a lottttttta money from J and premium and on the vast majority of my flights, both are FULL. We have been recruiting almost continually for the last 4 years, the base has undergone a huge refit and I dread to think how much that cost the company, the marble staircase leading up to the clubhouse at LHR cost over one million. LM introduced OBM to Virgin about 5 years ago (which failed miserably at BA by the way and probably contributed to her downfall there) VS spent millions on training everyone on it only to subsequently make major changes because they realised it didn't work and after almost 5 years and a lot of money being spent on it, it looks as if it will soon be scrapped! So they can find money for all of this, but they can't reward their crew who are on the front line with a respectable wage

Last edited by 016FSM; 25th Dec 2007 at 22:59. Reason: error
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 15:32
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Okay; Before I have to change my flight to SFO next month to fly with United, is there any chance of this action being called off?
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 17:45
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No chance, it's gone too far. Time to play hardball on both sides
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 20:15
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Fruitbat, it would depend what was on offer.

If nothing is presented then more strikes will be organised, this will take us from quiet January to Feb and Mid term, then the company will start to feel the heat more.

So regarding the sickness thing, how can crew who are non union members support their striking colleagues (becasue secondary action is not allowed) I think (stress think) even if they join union now they are not permitted to strike but I ay be wrong will check when I am home. So does that leave sickness as only option to them ?
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 20:19
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You are wrong. If they join the union they can strike, if they don't join the union they can still legally strike but they won't have the protection of the union if the company dismisses them unlawfully.
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 20:42
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A collapse of the strike would see Virgin imposing any pay deal it see's fit. It would probably mean a reduction in union membership and seriously undermine the unions bargaining power at future T & C negotiations.

The direction we're heading will lead to significant numbers of unhappy, underpaid, undervalued crew and cheaper new hires in the future.

All of this of course will impact on the positive inflight experience of the people who choose to fly with us and who sustain us all.

That the company cant see this is staggering.
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