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Tue, Aug 24, 2010

Virgin Atlantic Pilots Call For 'Last Ditch' Talks With Airline

Dispute Centers On Pilot's Days Off

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) confirmed Monday that it has asked to meet the management of Virgin Atlantic on Tuesday for 'last ditch' talks to avoid confrontation between the airline and its pilots.

The dispute is over the way the union says the company is denying pilots their entitlement to a minimum number of rostered days off which are allowed for in an agreement the pilots have with the airline. These 120 rostered days off per year are the equivalent of an office worker's weekends and bank holidays but without the same predictability.

"BALPA always does what it can to assist airlines through downturns, as many airlines will testify, and we did this with Virgin during these past difficult years," Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of BALPA, said in a statement on the union website. "To now find that the company is breaching an agreement and denying many pilots their entitlement to the equivalent of a weekend off is a real slap in the face and one which we cannot accept. We call on the company to pick up our offer of talks and to find a way through."

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Virgin Atlantic spokesman said the airline has received no strike vote notification. He said Tuesday's meeting was a regular monthly meeting with the pilot's association.

FMI: www.balpa.org, www.virginatlantic.com

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