22 Jun 2011


Virgin Atlantic pilots have not had a pay rise since 2008. Photograph: Erik Van 'T Woud/EPA
Virgin Atlantic pilots have voted by 97% in favour of strikes in a row over pay, raising the threat of disruption to summer travel.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), were voting on whether to take industrial action against Sir Richard Branson's company in protest at a 4% pay offer. The union said Virgin Atlantic pilots have not had a pay rise since 2008 after agreeing to forgo an increase to help the company, with the expectation of a "fair" hike this year.
Balpa, which represents most of Virgin's 750 pilots, said it had decided to ballot its members because it had expected a bigger pay deal this year.Balpa's executive will meet later in the week to discuss the ballot result, and will have to give Virgin seven days notice of any walkouts.
A Virgin spokesman said earlier: "We continue to have talks with Balpa. We have made an offer twice the national average for UK businesses and ahead of the majority of the airline industry. Pilots are an extremely valuable part of our workforce and we hope we can find a resolution."

John Said,
Please Ryanair pilots stand up to O'Leary and his merry men ''NOW''

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