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Tue, Dec 04, 2007

Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crews On The Verge Of A Strike

Possible Action Looms Over Holiday Travel

Employees at Virgin Atlantic are mulling over possible strike action over disputed pay rates, according to Fox Business News.

As many as 3,000 cabin crew are voting on a strike over lower pay than other airlines, such as British Airways -- whose staff can earn up to $20,600 per annum more than Virgin Atlantic crew working the same flights.

Cabin crew employees rejected the company's final pay offer on November 1, after seven months of negotiations between Virgin Atlantic and members of the Unite crew union.

Results from a strike ballot is due this week, and will focus on December 20 as the closing date. The union is recommending that members vote to support an "industrial action" to break the pay deadlock.

The British Airports Authority (BAA) is also recommending a closure of their pension negotiations, also handled by Unite, and is set to close the same day. Should this happen, the prospect of airport and airline travel will be interrupted early next year.

"Our member's do a professional and responsible job for one of the country's highest regarded airline and their pay should reflect this," said Brian Boyd, Unite's National Officer for Aviation.

"At the moment Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew earnings are far less than their competitors on the main business routes as British Airways and clearly this is no longer acceptable to our members," Boyd continued. "Unite has done everything we can to avoid this situation but we have been left with no alternative but to ballot for strike action in an effort to get the company's to recognize our member's contribution to the company's continued success."

Should the crews decide to strike the union will have a period of 28-days to take action, and by law, has to give the company a seven day notice before striking.

FMI: www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/us/index.jsp

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