Virgin pilots balloted over pay deal after strike threat lifted

Virgin pilots balloted over pay deal after strike threat lifted

Pilots at Virgin Atlantic will begin a ballot on whether to settle their dispute over pay at the end of this week after calling off a threat to strike.

The pilots’ union, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), will send out ballot forms on Friday following a series of meetings with their 640 members at Virgin Atlantic this week.

Neither side would give details of the revised Virgin offer made last week, but Travel Weekly understands the airline has offered an improved deal both on pay and scheduling.

However, it appears Balpa will not recommend members accept or reject the deal. General secretary Jim McAuslan said merely: “We have lifted the threat of strike action.”

Virgin’s previous offer was worth 4% this year and 3% in each of the following two years, but comes after three years of frozen wages.

The ballot will take three weeks, with the result due in early August.

A rejection appears unlikely. However, the pilots would require another ballot before calling any action - so they have lost the chance to strike during the peak holiday season.

Balpa represents about 85% of Virgin Atlantic’s pilots.

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