For the first time in their history, pilots of Virgin Atlantic have voted in favour of industrial action over pay.
Ninety-seven per cent voted for strike action in a ballot that saw a 94% turnout.
Jim McAuslan, general secretary of BALPA (the union representing Virgin Atlantic pilots) said that “the size of the poll and the huge majority for action should send a clear message to Sir Richard Branson.” McAuslan continued, “I am happy to meet him anywhere and anytime to resolve this. My messages are simple: Pilots do not want to strike and are hugely disappointed by the company’s approach. There has been no UK pilot strike for 32 years. But there comes a time when even moderate people say enough.” BALPA’s general secretary said that, “We do not want to inconvenience the public and hope that Sir Richard will use some of his undoubted Virgin Flair to settle this.” No strike dates have yet been set, however, McAuslan cautioned that “having been at this since last November, time is running out. If damage is to be avoided and passengers not inconvenienced then Sir Richard needs to act now.”