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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 30th Dec 2007, 11:16
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Hmmmm Mrs SN is due to fly back from DXB on Jan 2nd.

Is this one of the dates for proposed actions, as if it is I need to make alternative arrangements for her?
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 13:03
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Reading between the lines......

I have read with interest both sides of the arguement on this thread and if I may, I would like to contribute my opinion. Firstly, I neither work for VS or BA, I work as crew for another airline at LHR which is pretty similar to VS in its T&C's.

The comparisons between VS and BA should be dropped, BA are unique to the industry these days. Every other airline in the UK treats its crew with contempt and keeps the salaries low, T&C's poor and hires young inexperienced/contollable crew that can't/won't fight back.

From reading your posts and my own experience I believe that what you are looking for is RESPECT and DIGNITY. You are feeling undervalued and used to maximise profit at your expense. Money is the first place to start when expressing your unhappiness, although this needs to be solved from a smarter perspective.

If you went to work and felt valued believing that your direct management were looking to make your work life better and quite frankly you were treated like an adult and a professional employee in a professional work place and not a child that needs to be scolded whilst never being thanked or praised when you go above and beyond the call of duty. And there was some acknowledgment of how hard you are working within the current climate in aviation and an understanding of what it is to be crew these days. Would you be at this point now? If the answer to that question is no, then that is where you need to start to resolve this issue. I do not believe you will get more money, but I think if you are smart you will be able to transform your CC management department. Your fight will then not be in vain.

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Old 30th Dec 2007, 16:52
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Devil Virgin CC problems

VS-LHRCSA. Well you certainly have not been too many times on the customer end of cabin service without being involved with the airline. I do not support any strike and I certainly feel that Virgin is not strong financially. I would say to any Virgin CC don't strike but get your union leaders to understand the real issues and start serious negotiations with the Board. It is no good pressing for benefits that will either break the company or force major redundancies.
I would also add that my wife as an Air Stewardess at the very end of the 60's considers Virgin CC vastly superior to the majority of BA CC when we fly long haul.
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 17:13
  #124 (permalink)  
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Firstly let me say that I think unless the Union has got a clear mandate/message/idea etc what crew want, then the strike is pointless. But the point being made regularly that VS can't afford it just does not hold true. As others have said just look at what has been wasted the last few years.....And do you really think the flight deck will settle for a small increase? As soon as the CC deal is eventually sorted out the FD will be starting their claim....bet it won't be 4.8% !
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 23:31
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Can someone please answer me this?

Cabin crew have always gone sick. Our very own AvMed manual tells us not to fly with a cold.
So why in the last 3 years have we encountered CREW DOWN?
In 14 years with the company we have never had this problem until 3 /4 years ago. Crew down was virtually unheard of therefore we didnt mind our pathetic 5 payments, so people like Fournier Boy telling us its all our own doing is just plain nonsense.
Heres my take on it..........................
YET AGAIN the company has decided to take cost cutting measures and YET AGAIN its the crew and pax that suffer.
Just like the J kits...........
Just like the awful catering.........................
Just like the LGW IFE........................

I'm gonna be bold here. I dont care what anyone says, but the crew down situation is a problem that lies with top management and a problem that I dont think is high on the list of priorities to solve. Why? Because it saves money! If we were to blame, then why was there no problem until recentley?

Point 2:
I'm fed up of hearing "If you dont like it leave"
Answer this honestly: Did you voice that same question when our pilots entered their pay negotiations?
Now before you say "Dont compare apples with....."
I'm Not okay!
What about nurses and teachers? Do you shout at the telly when you hear of their hardships (not to mention being key-workers)? I'll bet you a shilling you dont. So why so rude to crew?
No trick question, honest answer appreciated.

January 4th will reveal the Unions intentions. I believe that until that date they are busy gathering info. Its not about greed and money as some of you believe but more about T&C's.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 00:54
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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So why so rude to crew? No trick question, honest answer appreciated.
Ok, I'll have a stab at it.

The reason, I think, why you seeing a less favourable reaction to the crew dispute than for nurses/teachers/etc has to do with the scale of the offer and how it has reached this stage.

Take point one. You tell someone that Virgin crew are striking, they ask 'what were they offered', and when they hear 4.8% they may be a little taken aback by that headline number. Probably twice or more what they managed this year. Forget that they don't know the detail; but from a layman's point of view, it's rather better than inflation. When the Nurses threatened action back in November, it was because their offer was 2.5% in two stages - a deal worth less than 2% a year. The teachers got their feathers ruffled for a similar 2% deal in April. So you have to admit, people see 4.8% for a perceived "glamourous" job and wonder why you're complaining.

Then there's point two. And this is a reason why those more closely involved may feel a little acrimonious. Unite (and Boyd in particular) have really screwed this up - they have given the company the impression they had a deal at least twice, only for the membership to reject it. If they had properly gauged their own membership, it wouldn't have gone to a strike ballot.

Even now, staring the industrial dispute down the barrel of a gun, the union still haven't clearly identified what the membership want. It is the most ludicrous situation possible - thousands of employees prepared to bring the company to its knees, but unsure of what they are actually striking for. Perhaps you can see, the view from other employees positions is that jeopardising their future pay and even their job security is unreasonable unless you can be clear about what deal you actually want.

Last edited by vs_lhr; 31st Dec 2007 at 03:30.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 01:35
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Hey, sign it to your room, Crew down has ALWAYS been a problem but it has become worse in the last 4 years or so since the company started filling our rosters with 5 flights most months.

Years ago we would do 3 or 4 a month and very occasionally 5 but that was quite unusual. Now we get 5 most months and sometimes even 6!
5 night stops in a month is a killer and crew go sick because they really need some time off to get back onto a regular time zone for a few days and have a proper rest.

The company has expanded SO dramatically over the last few years, new routes, additional services on existing ones that they just can't get enough crew to cover all the flights. The turnover is very high due to the huge work load and minimal salary so people want to do the job but after a few months, find that they just can't live on the salary so leave.

I know i've mentioned it b4, but remember, we do plenty of flights where we don't even get a rest during the flight, so try doing that on 4 out of 5 flights for a few months!!

Many people including RB are saying we shouldn't compare ourselves to BA, on the subject of money that is, but why on earth should they have guaranteed rest on every single flight that they do and yet we can sometimes only manage an hour on a 10 hour flight to LA!! And still people on here keep complimenting VS crew on their wonderuful service in the cabin!!!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:24
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7165490.stm

There you have it from RB himself, if you don't like it leave!!

What a total plonker, all of those who wheren't going to strike will probably go on strike now after that nonsense!

Good Luck guys- your overworked, underpaid and UNDER VALUED!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:30
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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I was amazed when I heard Branson's comments this morning - almost guaranteed to generate strike action now!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:32
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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So SRB has finally lost the plot publically. If the CC union couldn't organise a meaningful direction for its members, then old Dickie has surely done that for them now. Unfortunately he has always been a fair weather boss. Throw a party, round up a crew in the Caribbean to play with, he will always be there. Unfortunately when things are tough its not quite as much fun for him anymore. I'll never forget his disappearing act when redundancies were being made after 9/11. Good luck to the crew at VS!

BTW his line that you get perks at his smaller friendlier company disappeared in the late 90's when he allowed his company to get as bloated as BA with acquisitions such as the Office. We all just became numbers!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:45
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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016FSM

I just looked through some old payslips from 10 years ago. From March 97' to Nov 97' I do not recieve a single crew down payment. I then get 1 crew down in Dec and 1 in Jan 98' then it continues for 98' with a smattering of incidents, nowhere like the problem we have now and I think your reasoning for this sums it up!

VS LHR

Thanks for honest response. I believe that had BB and management offered us 4.8% with no strings attached and a solid promise to resolve working conditions (Crew Down/IFE/Catering/Crew Rest) then there would be no strike.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:58
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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What a total plonker, all of those who wheren't going to strike will probably go on strike now after that nonsense!
Reading the latest post on cabincrew.com, it looks like that opinion can go either way. Some who where previously going to strike now see this as a futile action in the face of the SRB publicity machine.

Thanks for honest response. I believe that had BB and management offered us 4.8% with no strings attached and a solid promise to resolve working conditions (Crew Down/IFE/Catering/Crew Rest) then there would be no strike.
Unfortunately Boyd "believed" he had already secured deals twice that he thought the membership would accept. It would seem the deal that you would have accepted may not be the deal everyone would have accepted; and the fatal flaw for Unite is they did not, and still have not, ascertained that. Now 4.8% and no strings just looks like a pipe dream.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 11:10
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Take point one. You tell someone that Virgin crew are striking, they ask 'what were they offered', and when they hear 4.8% they may be a little taken aback by that headline number. Probably twice or more what they managed this year


VS_LHR, I totally agree, I was out for dinner with some friends the other day and they asked, "what's this about Virgin going on strike, we always thought you guys loved the company ?". That is how Virgin was and still is perceived in some publics eyes. I told them 4.8%, as you say, that is a good payrise. I then told them what our basic was and chins nearly hit the floor.

I explained the issues as SITYR and 016 has regarding crew down and the impact this has on them the flying customer. Obviously one response was but what about all the lovely places you get to go ? I had to agree I have been to some lovely places but explained that unfortunately after a period seeing lovely places doesn't pay the bills. So then they said, what about other airlines what do they make ? So BA came up (so as has been said they got loads o' money - in Harry Enfield voice) but we discussed what other airlines do with duty pay per hour you are away from base. We discussed record sickness this Christmas (as I am hearing), a sure sign of morale amongst the crew, it was record sickness last year and now even higher this year. We discussed the future and what changes we expect might happen this year. I firmly believe Virgin will join other airlines in putting the squeeze on and trying to get us operating as close to minimum rest as possible downroute in order to try and squeeze more out of us, probably the only reason they have not managed it so far is because the pilots more than likely refuse to do it which protects us, but I can see that being the next focus.

The public love the product and I love delivering the product when I have the correct tools for it, take all the tools out of my toolbox (crew) then I will still try and do what I can but the job might not be as professional compared to if I had all my tools.

Finally it seems my voice/disappointment/reaction to Dickies letter a few days back was not on its tod, the news sure knows how to paint a picture.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 11:19
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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but to allow it to go out in the first place
Looking at what they quoted, I suspect they got everything they need from PPRuNe. So the "leak" is Scooby....! Scooby - you're a mole; how's it feel

That is how Virgin was and still is perceived in some publics eyes. I told them 4.8%, as you say, that is a good payrise. I then told them what our basic was and chins nearly hit the floor.
Exactly, although for the 99.99% of the population, you don't get the chance to explain the backstory in order to give them any other perspective on it. And now the BBC are quoting figures of "8.3% on basic pay over two years", it will be difficult for crew to generate much sympathy with the general public.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 11:21
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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I can't believe how twisted that BBC report is!!

I think a more measured view should be taken by reading RBs actual comments, rather than conveniently over-reacting wildly to the BBC headline.

I think the headline "Branson tells strikers to resign" along with the subheading "Worth the perks?" (which incidentally was never mentioned as such in the text below) is a serious inflammation of the facts, and only serves to aggravate the situation.

Another example of left-leaning BBC reporting.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 11:30
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Justanotherpax,
If you live by the sword you die by the sword. RB has manipulated the media to the hilt in the past. It may just be catching up with him now.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 11:37
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RWU, fair point well made.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 12:09
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The above comments really sum up what so many people think we do in our jobs! Fly to exotic destinations worldwide and serve tea and coffee!! If only they really knew how many of us have saved lives, performed CPR on people during flights, had to restrain violent passengers using handcuffs and other restraints, are verbally ubused by obnoxious passengers, clear up vomit whilst looking after people who aren't well along with the hundreds and of other medical related incidents that happen on a daily basis. Your lives are in OUR hands when you're flying so should you ever have a heart attack, stroke or other serious affliction when you're flying and somewhere over the middle of Afghanistan, you better hope that you have a good and more importantly experienced crew on your aircraft!! And of course don't forget that if there there's a fire on that aircraft, or a decompression or other safety related problem, it's the crew who are going to help to get you off safely, passengers can of course help to a degree, but they do not have the training or experience that we have. Let's hope that you never end up on an aircraft full of 19 and 20 year old crewe when you fall seriously ill or find that a fire is blazing because you may, if you're vey lucky, just live to eat your words!!

Secondly,

Richard has manipulated the press for Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears!! How often do you read anything bad in the press about RB or Virgin? Rarely!!

How often over the years have you read bad things that have happened to BA, their crew or assoociated events?

We have had many very newsworthy stories over the years but the press won't touch them and even this looming strike action has been minimally reported and mainly overshadowed by the BAA threatened strike. Well RB's appreciation letter attracted some press thankfully, one of the rare occassions that he wasn't seen as the golden eyed boss in the eyes of the public! His letter in which he told his staff how much he appreciated them basically said, thanks for sticking by me for all these years, (for the longer serving staff) and helping us survive while so many others went under, but now if you can no longer support your lifestyle on the salary we pay, then it's time for you to look elsewhere!! Well thanks Richard, it's been a pleasure, do let us know if there's anything else we can help out with in the meantime!!

Last edited by 016FSM; 31st Dec 2007 at 12:24.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 12:29
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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I can vouch for G-Unit, he is what he says he is.

I get the impression he may be fishing for a bite or two.
Whilst i agree cabin crew do more than serve drinks etc I don't think the current situation will generate any public sympathy for your cause.

Richard Branson has a history of getting what he wants (most billionaires tend to) and I am in no doubt he can be a manipulative person to work for/with, the point I suppose is, if there are people prepared to work for him at the rates he offers, why pay more?
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 12:31
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately we are very used to dealing with ignorant comments such as that Kelas on a daily basis. We deal with people who shout and scream and threaten to sue us because they didn't get their first choice of meal, so you ignorant comment only goes to reflect your own lack of education. Many of us who fly are very well educated and this is the profession we have chosen.

I hope that one day you're on one of my flights and you require urgent medical attention and it's just you and me. Let's see then how uneducated you think I am. I hope for your sake that I prove not to be because it may just be me who saves your life!!
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