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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:31
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Yeah you will have days off after they scrap the rosters but prob not the same ones you have at the monent.

I also think wit Crew calling in sick having to speak to crew control and then being put through to a cabin crew manager...they will just cry off and not bother calling in sick now. They are asking for Docs certificates however many days you have off so thats complusory..so crew will not wanna do that.

But to be honest if half the crew from union go in then the union have lost anyway..then it will all be lost.

So who knows..will have to wait and see. They will not give in...but i do just give this the 1st strike and then it will be over and the union will have to concede.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:33
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No,I think my rostered Days off are my rostered days off, as far as I am aware they are protected and cant be changed, though I will check with the union.

I now have the full release, thanks for the Personal message from person who shall remain nameless.

Genuine Sickness.
& I stress this is re genuine sickness

The rules regarding sickness are grey again, they say everyone has to produce a sickness note from the doctor and you will only receive SSP if off sick. If you are genuinely sick the company has no honour your contract which pays full salary when off sick and if they dont you may pursue this legally and probably with union assitance (if there was ever a reason to be a union member here is one) anyone genuinely falling sick is being persecuted. - you have done nothing wrong and are only off work due to sickness.

Anyone is allowed to self certify 7 days, most doctors will charge for a private medical note for anything shorter than this, so this should be reclaimed from the company if they demand it (get manager you speak to to confirm the company will pickup the tab) otherwise you will be left out of pocket. To be sure about this I asked an employment lawyer;

If your contract/ handbook states that you are entitled to full pay during sickness (or possibly even if it is stated to be discretionary but as a matter of custom and practice full pay is always given) then you could argue a breach of contract if you only receive SSP. Best to get signed off by GP for any period of sickness in the circumstances so that you have some evidence in your favour as may have to prove that absence due to sickness was genuine. If someone is genuinely off sick and it could be a long term illness (ie illness could last for 12 months or more even though the absence may not be that long) then might possibly amount to disability discrimination too.


I see if anyone does work the strike days they dont have to wear uniform too, they can come in in civis and change, maybe they will offer a payment for the best disguise too

I hope the crew volunteer email address doesn't fill up too quickly with spam. Maybe those in favour of action should all volounteer to work so the company believes it has the flights crewed and then not arrive in order to ensure disruption (Yes I know its Dirty, but the gloves are off now) You cant buy democracy.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:34
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So, 150 to operate a flight and 160 in crew down payment guaranteed, total 310, less tax & NI (30%) circa 217. So perhaps if you do 2 of these then its 434 extra for going to work on the 2 blocks of strike days. That's good money, ah but if I average it over 12 months it's 36.17 per month, now what was the last pay deal worth to me , oh yes I remember assuming 5 trips a month a junior stood to take home an extra 39.61 per month. http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpos...&postcount=211 so still actually by going into work on the strike days people will be worse of in one year than if I they accepted the last offer.
I assume crew would get the company-wide increase, so add 2% onto that and you'll be better off over the year than the 4.8%.

Bear in mind, that last deal is now off the table; so for many, it's a choice between that (and I'd need to know your working figures to get the exact percentages, but call it 4.5% + 2%), or just the 2% (if, indeed, crew are offered that). That sounds like a significantly better offer, and the beauty for Virgin is that they only have to offer it to staff who support them during the strike. Sweet.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:40
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True, I imagine the facebook hall of shame with photos of those that operated would cause great shame and we know it will happen, everything ends up on facebook or some other website these days !
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:44
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Scooby check with the union about your days off but like everythinh else they will not know the answers...hence the position your in now.

With regards to sickness...it is up to Virgin if they want to ask for a Doctors certificate after however many days they want. As lets face it...most crew are going to call in sick...eventhough these same crew said yes to the strike. Then a interview with a cabin crew manager i can't see many crew holding up under that pressure.

Just be honest and call up and say your striking if thats what you choose.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:46
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I don't think people going into work will be ashamed...let's be honest there be the ones that have kept the airline flying and if you do get an increase or whatever the cc want then you can have an album for all the people that work with there pictures saying thank you.

Plus you will not be allowed anywhere near crew check in if you are not flying...security measure...so dunno who would take the pics.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:47
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The rules regarding sickness are grey again, they say everyone has to produce a sickness note from the doctor and you will only receive SSP if off sick. If you are genuinely sick the company has no honour your contract which pays full salary when off sick and if they dont you may pursue this legally and probably with union assitance (if there was ever a reason to be a union member here is one) anyone genuinely falling sick is being persecuted. - you have done nothing wrong and are only off work due to sickness.
I suspect the company have no beef with anyone who is genuinely sick, but you cannot deny that large numbers of crew have been advocating calling in sick in order to either still receive payment when they are on strike, or just to semi-support the strike without the conviction to say so. Either way, those staff are technically in breech of their contract by striking, so Virgin does not have to honour sick pay policy. Indeed, there is criminal intent in obtaining money by deception, and that could be considered an act of gross misconduct; and you'd be out of the door without need for disciplinary procedures.

Now I understand that this will mean more rigourous checking of genuine cases, and it is normal for companies to cover the expense of a medical certificate if required under 7 days; but Virgin are within their right to protect their business, and don't doubt that they will be asking for proof if you are sick during the strike. You won't be able to hide behind technicalities in policy, but then if you are genuinely sick, you have nothing to worry about.

Whether the company is allowed to switch to SSP only, then, as you say, it's a bit of a grey area. No disrespect; but I suspect the (large) VS legal team have looked into this a little more carefully than the advice of your employment lawyer. If you want to fight the company for the difference between SSP and normal sick pay; good luck to you.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:49
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Well said and this is the same for any business that has staff that belong to a union.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:50
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greigok,

That's why I stressed re genuine sickness only, people who are sick should not be pressured to come to work it is unsafe for all concerned and if anyone does pressure you to come to work when you are sick then the union and CAA should be involved quick smart. If anyone is genuinely sick please take managers name that pressures you, if you can call from your mobile and record the call, most phones can do this. Again I stress my post is in relation to genuine genuine genuine sickness only.

edit to add, if I did fall sick and was unable to operate/strike then I would more than happily take on the company and probably with the unions help. My source is an employment lawyer for large city firm so please dont disrespect me, you find the law that contradicts me and then contradict me, Virgin would have numerous claims if it tried this with GENUINELY ILL people.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:52
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If it is a genuine sickness then your doctor would have no problem in providing you with a doctors certificate even after a day. This will then prove to your manager that it is genuine.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:55
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Scooby can i just ask..why do you choose to work for VS and not for BA? Will not shoot you down for whatever answer you may give im just wondering as you seem unhappy. But it is the union who are meant to be fighting your cause..so you should be unhappy with them. You may have said before but i have only been on here today.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 15:00
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If it is a genuine sickness then your doctor would have no problem in providing you with a doctors certificate even after a day. This will then prove to your manager that it is genuine.
Yes, but there is a fee for this (anything less than 7 days stat), normally 30-40 which the company should accept and state in its guidelines that it will recoup as it is changing its sickness policy, remember a genuinely ill crew member has not breached any contract.

Re me unhappy, no I just fight for what I believe in as do obviosuly many others (votes). I love working for virgin but it needs to come into the 21st century regarding its employee relations, the straw that broke the camels back was this set of poorly handled negotiations and the direspect towards crew displayed with it. Should I have to throw away years of seniority for that and become a junior at another airline becasue of it ?

Got to go now, NYE and need to ensure I get a good table in my favourite bar. Have a great one everyone.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 15:44
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As the ongoing arugments for and against this strike continue, just a few comments from me as food for thought before I get ready to welcome in the New Year which hopefully will be happier and more lucrative for us all!!

Having been in the company for over 20 years I have seen a lot of changes and have really seen VS grow from being a 2 aircraft 2 route company to a major player in the field. We used to have amazing benefits and perks years ago but as the company grew many of these were taken away and/or cut back. I feel like so many others that we are majorly undervalued and underpayed, but Sir RB is a clever ole dude and didn't get to where he is today by being outwitted by his staff.

I voted NO to all the pay offers as on my salary, it still didn't bring it into line with what I should be earning at my age and with my length of service, I also voted YES to strike as I truly believed with an overwhelming majority, the company would take it very seriously and start to re negotitate, but they haven't, they're digging in their heels and have withdrawn the original offer which we can now say goodbye to. They're also showing that they simply aint gonna give to our demands and will fight to the end!!

I would love to see the crew fight back and win this argument against the company but I really feel that there will only be one loser in the long term, the crew. I believe that after the strikes in Jan, IF they go ahead, that when crew start seeing the deductions in their pay packets and they are being rostered all the really low paid unpopular trips such as Los/Del/Mco/Lax/Nbo/Las etc etc, they will start to realise that they really are not going to win. Those who are waiting to be called for an interview for promotion, forget it, you'll be kept in your rank for a long ole time and those who helped the company through this time, will sail through. They'll also be the ones spending their time in Mauritius and other popular desitinations whilst you do 5 unpopular trips a month and with regards to having time off over Xmas/New year in the future, just don't expect too much!!

The union can help with many things and will look after you should the company try to 'screw' you, but with what I've mentioned above, they can't do a thing, everything is perfectly justifiable, your performance not up to scratch, it's just the way the rostering system works etc etc and should you ever be found with a piece of hand towel in your bag from the toilets on the aircraft, well you can use it to wrap your P45 up in!!

I know it sounds like i'm not being supportive, but i'm actually being realistic, I need to keep my job, I enjoy it and don't want it to turn into a nightmare for me, i like going to nice places as well as the less popular ones, I like being at home for Xmas and NYE sometimes and most importantly I need every penny that I earn, as little as it may be! I cannot afford to start having money deducted from me for 4 days a month to start and who knows what next!

In a company like BA, where union membership runs at almost 98% of whom 96% of those support a strike, the average age of crew and length of service is MUCH higher than VS and after all that they still ended up with nothing after their strike! Having said that, what do you honestly think is going to happen when Virgin have a half hearted attempt at striking backed by a confused and weak union and half their members who will probably ring in sick anyway instead of supporting the action? It's going to be a reall blooming mess and it will really not get us what we want. Let's think again, accept what they've already offered and when it's time to negotiate again, the company will realise that they cannot walk over us any longer! They'll listen and will never want to get to this stage again!

If you enjoy your jobs, don't throw it away, make your decision very very carefully and I speak as someone who has put up with this salary for a very long time!! Things HAVE improved in recent years all be it very slowly and that was without the union's help! Now we have an ever growing union, we can achieve so much more, but let's do it slowly and with caution, not by jumping in with both feet first just becase we can!!

Happy New Year everyone, have fun and be careful and make the right choice!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 16:03
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BA have a very small number of first class passengers, 10 or 12 I believe, a fair size business cabin and small economy cabin. Until recently, Virgin has had 40 Upper class pax, between 30 and 40 premium depending on the aircraft, and anywhere from 375 to 400 in economy depending on the aircraft. Virgin's upper class cabin now holds 50 passengers and the premium around the same I believe. Economy has been reduced to around 300. Remember that our upper service rivals other airline's first class service, so it's not over in 5 minutes, it has to be delivered with all the trimmings!
The crew working positions are very very different to those at BA and BA do not do the number of services that Virgin have to do. Even with 17 crew, Virgin crew are pushed to the limits and some pax still complain that our service is too slow and we obviously don't have enough crew!! I have dealt with those kind of complaints on numerous occasions!
BA crew openly tell their customers not to use their call bells unless they REALLY have to, Virgin pax use them continuously and the crew have to answer each one every time it goes off and wouldn't dare tell someone not to use it, unlike BA!!

I have to correct you here...BA have 14 First class seats, 52 or 70 Business class seats 36 World Traveller Plus seats and approx 212 economy seats on a 747.
Your last comment in bold just tells me that you are talking out of your nether regions in respect to what BA do or don't do on board. I only wish we could tell our passengers NOT to use the call bells, unfortunately we would not be doing our jobs if we did....now would we?

This strike thread is so interesting. It reminds me of when we BA crew were going to strike. the only difference being that we were willing to put our money where our mouths were. That is until we were sold out by our mother Union. Something which is still a sore point with many BA crew and the Union alike.

Good luck to you all whatever it is you decide to do. Ultimately if you strike does go ahead, you will all be affected regardless of what your choices may be.

Oh yes and 016FSM no doubt myself or some of my colleagues will be there to answer the call bells from some of those Virgin passengers who may be affected by your potential strike....LOL
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 16:05
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BAA strike called off then for the 7th Jan...so anyone wanted to strike for VS...will not cause a double blow...like some may have hoped.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 16:46
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Hey Hubbly, I didn't mean any offence re call bells and service by BA crew. I have many friends who work for BA and most of them have flown Virgin at some time and told me that they simply don't put up with what we do in the cabin! T can't believe the way call bells on our flt's go off continuously and how we spend most the flight running up and down the aisles. They tell me things just aren't like that in BA!

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that our crew in economy are so much younger, people feel they can take more liberties, when the crew are older as they 'generally' are at BA, people don't act that way. I know that the older crew don't encounter as many problems as the younger ones and the passengers in the areas of those crew, don't tend to be so difficult! Explain that however you choose!!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:24
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Scoobydoo.
It's my understanding that Virgin management DID sit down and negotiate a deal with the union that included a 4.8% pay rise???

Isn't it then that the minority of total cabin crew turned this down against thier unions recommendations so that's why the deal is now off the table and why a minority will take strike action?
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:28
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I am not sure what you offer so incredibly different from BA on your flights last time I flew VS the service in economy was much the same as BA with the exception of a jazzed up, pop cultured IFE and different uniforms it could have been the same airline..just not as relaxed I guess.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:28
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New post as too much to edit last.



I take my hat off to the BAA management who have sat negotiating with the Union and made progress and thus agreed to call of the first of their strikes. Lessons can be learnt on both sides of the table.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7165196.stm



Let's think again, accept what they've already offered and when it's time to negotiate again, the company will realise that they cannot walk over us any longer! They'll listen and will never want to get to this stage again!
016 - all offers are gone now, there is nothing to accept, we are now at stale mate and the only way forward is a united front otherwise the union is destroyed overnight, as mentioned earlier - perhaps this is the companies intention. If people do not commit now then they company will not fear the power of a collective workforce again , this will be seen as joke and any future negotiations will be futile.

I would have to disagree with you when you say things have been improving in recent years, things that spring to my mind are introduction of monthly standby, performance monitoring, fast tracking of people who have been in the company 5 mins, removal of crew rest areas, as many standby blocks as the company wants over Christmas (initial this was limited), sickness increasing each year etc etc.

The only improvement I can think of is Vswap, what things do you think have improved in recent years ? (The Base doesn't count, nor does losing 20 mil on virgin Nigeria)
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:31
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warkman, the union also recommended a horrific paydeal before that one too. Its one big mess, but as many others now that have been in the company a long time will probably consider leaving as the airline becomes more and more lo-co will probably have to charge pax for drinks and meals next, Upper class perks will be a free pack of pretzels
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