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94 percent Turnout as Balpa Pilots return 97 percent Vote for Strike Action
VIRGIN PILOTS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR STRIKE ACTION
94 percent Turnout as Balpa Pilots return 97 percent Vote for Strike Action
Just to add to holiday woes for the average family, for the first time ever pilots employed by Virgin Atlantic have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over pay. 97% voted for strike action in a ballot that saw a 94% turnout.
BALPA General Secretary, Jim McAuslan said: 'The size of the poll and the huge majority for action should send a clear message to Sir Richard Branson' 'I am happy to meet Sir Richard anywhere and at anytime to resolve this. Pilots do not want to strike and are hugely disappointed by the company's approach. There has been no UK pilot strike for 32 years. But there comes a time when even moderate people say "enough".
Pilots are being driven to strike. With no pay increase since 2008, a below inflation offer for 2011 and proposals for 2012 and 2013 that will be sub-inflation, this is now a 6 year attack on living standards which has not happened in any other UK airline. Pilots at Virgin are saying "enough". Pilots are prepared to strike. When a group professional people say "enough" someone at the top should sit up and listen. We do not want to inconvenience the public and hope that Sir Richard will use some of his undoubted Virgin Flair to settle this.'
Julian Bray Aviation Expert commented: 'BALPA confirmed that no stike dates had yet been set in the hope that the two sides can negotiate a solution. Jim McAuslan of BALPA claimed that the two sides had been in talks since last November and seemingly still poles apart. Clearly if the pilots do strike then Virgin Atlantic would have to hire in aircraft from other carriers, but the Virgin holidays business will also be badly hit as will families taking air cruise holidays. Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean could suffer a crippling knock on effect as a significant number of cruise guests fail to reach ships on time and that depending on the style of holiday booked refunds could either be denied or take months to establish the basis of a refund '
'Having been at this since last November, time is running out' said Jim McAuslan. 'If damage is to be avoided and passengers not inconvenienced then Sir Richard needs to act now.
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