Progress in Virgin pilots dispute

Progress in Virgin pilots dispute

Talks aimed at averting industrial action by pilots at Virgin Atlantic have been adjourned in London.

British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa) representatives met with the airline until late last night in an attempt to resolve an ongoing dispute over holiday entitlement.

Following the talks, a spokesperson for Balpa confirmed “some progress” had been made following a “frank exchange of views”.

The talks will be continued at a later date.

The row is centred on a disagreement over the number of rostered days off pilots are entitled to take during the year, with the union accusing Virgin of denying staff their full entitlement.

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Unacceptable

Balpa general secretary, Jim McAuslan, said: “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.

“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.”

Balpa claims Virgin is denying a fair entitlement to days off, and argued the 120 rostered days off per year are the equivalent of an office worker’s weekends and bank holidays - but without the same predictability.

While no ballot has yet been announced, pilots have mooted the possibility of strike action.