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Virgin Atlantic Pilot Strike Ballot

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Virgin Atlantic Pilot Strike Ballot

Old 24th Jun 2011, 23:14
  #61 (permalink)  
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Flatfour suggests unions don't work in the short or long term. The Thomson CC have over many decades kept us at the forefront regarding terms and conditions. As a 25 year pilot who works 680 hrs per year my remuneration compares whith almost any pilot worldwide and I don't live in the tropics, sandpit or do longhaul.

Thomson success is down to the calibre of guys who serve on the CC and a staunch core of supporters. Bob Crowe achieves similar for RMT members through hard nose tactics.

Pilots can apear a strange bunch, isolated or ego driven. Simple really, we are articulate and motivated employees with huge leverage who occasionally need to grow dangly bits as the VS guys have done. The middle class squadron mentality can hold us back as can the diverse ethnicicity that now pervades airlines such as Ryanair. These can be overcome with communication and a realisation that the vaseline treatment doesn't have to be accepted as the norm.

Good luck guys.
Old 25th Jun 2011, 01:03
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 27
In the history of uk industrial relations, strike action does not benefit the workers taking the action and certainly not the organisation suffering the strike action, whatever union or left wing activist may declare. What does influence the direction of the settlement is the threat of downing tools. Virgin Pilots, use this threat wisely, if you strike, then thousands of families will not fly with you again, ever. Your airline will shrink and possibly be taken over with your influence decimated. The recent BA action cost the airline a huge amount of financial penalties, and the staff were split. The passengers booked elsewhere. They still will. Virgin is a minow in world avaition.... be careful out there.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 01:59
  #63 (permalink)  
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LNAV, you are correct that strike action adversely affects companies,
that is the reason companies needs to NEGOTIATE reasonably with pilots.
Tankengine is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 09:55
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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How disappointing that high paid workers who have a fantastic career have lost sight of where they are heading and just obsessed by money. How disappointing that holiday makers will see their travel plans go up in smoke.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:02
  #65 (permalink)  
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RN98, are you talking about the management or the pilots?
BigGeordie is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:11
  #66 (permalink)  
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I am talking about the pilots BigGeordie. Very disappointing
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:33
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Question RN98

RN98, a simple question for you.

If your employer is doing well, turning a decent profit , awarding its directors large pay increases etc, is it reasonable for Joe employee to expect his salary to stay constant in real terms? If so, would you describe Joe (with the usual family, car, mortgage etc) as 'obsessed by money', as you just have VS's pilots?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Mods, could I trouble you to consider whether Count N's posts are relevant to the title of this generally worthwhile thread, and if not remove them as a time-wasting distraction? He's free to start a new thread with his views.
Von Smallhausen is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 11:06
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Normal Joe employee does not already earn in excess of 65k a year though.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 11:18
  #69 (permalink)  
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So anyone earning over 65k should never complain and should accept whatever their management decide. Just compliantly watch their lifestyle gradually eroded?

Are you a secret admirer of the Bolshevik party? It didn't get them far did it?
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 12:23
  #70 (permalink)  
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Now,nurses try to tell us how much we may earn and when we might strike. That is one inflated mind, I reckon?!
heavy.airbourne is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 12:33
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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RN98 - I am a pilot and my wife is a nurse, in the last ten years
  • she has not been made redundant, TWICE, I have
  • she has not worried about redundancy in every job she has, I have
  • she has not stuggled to find a job and been forced to work in the middle east, I have
  • She has a guaranteed pension, I will be lucky to have a fraction of her pension

you cannot compare oranges to apples nor nursing to piloting
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 12:42
  #72 (permalink)  
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One question Beardie might like to answer is why can he pay his train drivers an industry leading salary (currently 52500 for a 4 day 35hr week and no Sunday working if you elect not to work them) but not do the same for his flight and cabin crew?

I suggest that strong trade unionism on the railway may be part of the answer.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 12:58
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
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There are always a few idiots.
I was paid 25K a year to fly the rich and famous around Europe. Should we start complaining about how they made their money? Or should we stick to the disgusting state huge parts of the NHS is?

But then again the NHS stands for waste, political correctness and be un-touchable - unlike those of us who work in the private sector, you have it easy as far as pay and conditions goes.

This is however wildly off topic. Being no fan of the unions, I would hope that the V boys and girls stick to their guns.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 13:10
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
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RN98 is a troll. In fact she sounds the same as Flying Nurse who was on the cabincrew.com forum during the BA CC dispute. She funnily enough supported their cause, but showed a deep contempt of pilots.

At least it's good to know it's not just BA pilots you hate, but ALL pilots.

Ignore, ignore, ignore
fruitbat is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 13:40
  #75 (permalink)  
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There are many who talk on from ignorance rather than from knowledge,
and who find the former an inexhaustible fund of conversation.
p7lot is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 13:58
  #76 (permalink)  
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In all the stuff on this thread, I have not heard from either the pilot supporters or the management supporters, a cogent argument about what is going on. If it is simply "they didn't increase our salaries for a couple of years, and now the increases are too small", then what is the management's response to this?
Clearly it can't be "we can't afford to pay you any more". With such a solid vote in favour of IA, I would hope the managers have something better to say than that.

Could we have a little more info and a little less slagging each other off?
Ancient Observer is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2011, 14:53
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
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I don't really wish to fully answer your question because I don't have the time right now.Maybe someone else here will.

Suffice to say that a union may ballot for Industrial Action for one issue only.In this case they made it pay because in 8 months the negotiations have gone nowhere.

Believe me, if all was sweetness and light at VS the turnout /votes for,would not have been nearly so great.

It is this level of discontent which has been brewing for some years which has finally spilled out.

The company carried out a staff survey last autumn and the flight ops management are reported to have achieved a 6% approval rating.

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Old 26th Jun 2011, 02:19
  #78 (permalink)  
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I do not work for VS but have considerable sympathy for the pilots there. Count Niemantznarr - it is difficult to know where to begin to correct your numerous misunderstandings. Perhaps the first place to start is your concept of there being non-strikers to protect. Given the scale of BALPA membership and the almost 100% support given for strike action, I think you will find there will not be too many non-strikers to abuse. Secondly, your idea that BALPA needs brought down reveals a crazy attitude to employee rights - they have exhausted all avenues and are left with nowhere else to go. BALPA are the elected representatives of the pilots and have gone to great lengths to ensure the strike vote was carried out legally - sooner or later the pilots will go for it unless something comes in to change the situation. Finally, whatever credibility the company may have had over pay freezes was lost some time back before the last round of redundancies at VS when at the same time the CEO received a rise in basic salary from 500,000 to 700,000 and a gaggle of senior managers did similarly well.

Despite my support for the pilots' case, I also have a word of caution. It seems to me that few of the pilots realise just how precarious the financial position of Branson and VS is. You just need to go on the very old and tatty aircraft they have to see that there is little money around for refurbishment. They are now a very small player in a big market where BA/AA are starting to eat them alive. Their Upper Class is a long way short of BA's First Class and the once-innovative service they provided now looks all a little tired. It is abundantly clear that Singapore Airlines wants shot of them and no obvious buyer is in the wings. Despite the unspeakable folly of paying big managers big money while telling everyone else the cupboard is bare, I am not sure the money-in-must-exceed-money-out equation is in Virgin's favour at the moment. I really do wish the VS well, but twhe cupboard may indeed be more bare than the pilots think or believe.
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Old 26th Jun 2011, 09:06
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
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Posts: 1,351

Just a couple of things.

Virgins financial position is and always has been a case of smoke and mirrors. SRBs attitude has always been to show how poor the company is whilst siphoning money out. It has always been in his interest to keep the company private. I am sure the pilots at VS have a good idea what they are dealing with.

With regard to Upper Class vs BA First Class. Upper Class was never meant to be the equivalent of First Class. It is basically business class with some nice seats/sleeper beds. If you want direct comparisons try premium economy where VS win hands down!
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Old 26th Jun 2011, 10:47
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 141
Rather than pushing for a pay rise that might precipitate the demise of VS, the airlines pilots should sit tight and survey the scene around them. Are they earning more than pilots in the lo-co's?

I agree with NSF, Virgin is in coffin corner financially. It is a point to point operator and increasingly isolated in a world of huge alliances. For instance, BA's "success" in the future will be to trap passengers into having to fly the OneWorld network, rather than service or price being a factor. There isn't going to be any "white knight" to save VS. SIA want to offload their share and Lufthansa the only other possible suitor, is trying to cut costs and is already lumbered with BMI. There isn't much value in the VS fleet either - all four engined planes. Ha ha Beardy - "Four engines for longhaul". Remember that?

So be prepared for another round of 'Glory Day' advertising, with busty blondes strutting through terminals on the arms of suave pilots, just before the plug is pulled.

Last edited by Count Niemantznarr; 27th Jun 2011 at 11:03.
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