AIRLINE PILOTS working for Virgin Atlantic have registered a landslide vote for industrial action to improve their pay.
With inflation running at close to 5 per cent, the pilots were offered rises of 4 per cent this year, tied to accepting 3 per cent for the following two years – and after the pilots have had no increase in pay since 2008.
“With inflation running at 5 per cent and likely to remain high, VA pilots would, if they accepted these increases, be in effect voting themselves years of wage cuts,” said their union, BALPA.
“There has been no UK pilot strike for 32 years. But there comes a time when even moderate people say ‘enough’,” BALPA general secretary Jim McAuslan said.
Some 750 pilots fly for Virgin Atlantic, which is 51 per cent owned by Richard Branson (the rest by Singapore Airlines). The pilots voted for action in a massive display of determination: 97 per cent in favour on a turnout of 94 per cent. ■