June 11, 2024


The TWU is calling on Virgin to urgently settle a fair agreement with pilots and take issues that cause fatigue seriously ahead of an upcoming public float, as well as resolve outstanding claims put to owners Bain Capital by workers last year.

Virgin pilots, whose sacrifices during administration alongside those of other workers have ensured the airline’s success, are still negotiating with the airline, which is attempting to remove six days off per year for the group.

A survey of 180 Virgin pilots revealed 93% would vote no to the agreement currently on the table, with 88% specifically unhappy with the reduction to days off.
95% of respondents said they did not feel valued by Virgin or owners Bain Capital.

Last year Virgin ground, cabin crew and pilot members served a five-point claim on Bain Capital for commitments around insourcing, respect for workers, industry reform, investment in the airline, and an employee share scheme in conjunction with the IPO.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said workers must come first ahead of the float.

“After strong half-year profit results and as the airline prepares for a public float, it’s vital that ongoing issues with pilots are settled. Virgin pilots are fatigued and morale is at rock bottom. Virgin and owners Bain need to settle these issues with an under-valued workforce and drop its proposal to remove six days off per year from pilots already stretched to the limit.”

“TWU members fought hard to save Virgin and have held its new owners to account over the past three years, securing vital long-term commitments to the airline and workforce. They came to

Bain with a sensible plan to ensure the airline’s future last year. We’ve seen some of those commitments fulfilled and now Bain must settle the outstanding issues around commitments to industry reform, an employee share scheme and respect for its workforce.”

“We’ve seen from Qantas what happens when you treat workers as a cost to be brought down rather than an investment. Workers have been instrumental in delivering strong results for Virgin and must remain the highest priority to ensure Virgin’s long-term success.”

“A cornerstone of a strong aviation industry is a strong workforce. We need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission that can ensure decisions in aviation are made in the public interest and ensure good, secure jobs and decent service standards.”

After filing Protected Action Ballots during bargaining last year, ground crew and cabin crew groups both averted strike action by settling agreements with Virgin ensuring fair pay increases and improvements to work-life balance and job security.

MEDIA CONTACT: Emily Mead 0432 552 895


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