Pilots for Virgin Atlantic set to strike over Christmas

Pilots for Virgin Atlantic set to strike over Christmas

LONDON — Virgin Atlantic’s pilots are getting ready to strike over the holidays over the issue of union recognition.

According to the Professional Pilots Union (PPU), the strike will take place from Dec. 22-25, Dec. 30-Jan. 2, and from Jan. 4-7. Nearly 72% of pilots who took part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action.

Despite representing approximately 30% of pilots at the airline, PPU is not recognized by Virgin Atlantic as a legitimate union. As such, PPU says it was excluded from recent talks over proposed changes to pilot benefits.

Virgin Atlantic said it does not expect any disruption to its schedule, adding that “our absolute. Priority is to ensure that all of our customers can continue their journeys as planned this Christmas.”

PPU spokesman Steve Johnson is hoping that the carrier halts the benefits review, which he says is “so damaging” to its pilot members’ long-term security.

“This is such an easy fix for the company,” he said. “By including all unions in negotiations – not just one selected by the company – it can then live up to its claimed inclusiveness and we can get round the table together to negotiate a sustainable outcome for our members.”