When Virgin entered voluntary administration, members fought hard to secure commitments from new owners Bain Capital, including:
- Virgin resuming as a fuller capacity airline
- Maximising jobs
- Retaining regional operation Vara, tiered cabin classes, airport lounges and the airline’s international arm
Throughout that process, and since then, members had to make sacrifices to ensure the company’s long-term future. With Virgin’s return to profit and new owners moving to relist the airline as a public company, it is time workers’ efforts were recognised.
In the past year, Virgin has already followed through on several commitments following members’ pressure.
After huge efforts from members and delegates, we won additional Leading Hand and Level 5 full time conversions, with the process rolling out now.
We are still in the Fair Work Commission around the rest breaks dispute, and encourage cabin crew members to keep filling in your rest break surveys. You fought for improvements to allowances, rest days after SYD-NAN duties and better distribution of sector days, but we know there is a long way to go in resolving fatigue issues.
Commitments for pilots from delegates’ and members’ efforts include rostered credit hour protection, duty RIG and paxing credits, and 4-hour minimum reserve credit.
Virgin also brought forward its profit scheme, and made additional reward payments, thanks to sustained pressure from delegates and members.
It is crucial we continue to build our union power as we gear up to commence bargaining. After an incredibly tough few years and with soaring cost of living, we will need every union member to be ready to fight for a strong agreement.