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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 14:34 GMT
Virgin Atlantic crews to strike
Virgin Boeing 747
Virgin Atlantic cabin crew have not gone on strike before
Union members among Virgin Atlantic cabin crew will strike twice in the new year after they voted in favour of industrial action.

The strikes will run for 48 hours each, starting at 0600 on Wednesday 9 January and from 0600 on Wednesday 16 January.

Unite union members say Virgin crews are underpaid compared with their counterparts at other airlines.

Virgin Atlantic has said that it will do everything it can to get passengers to their destinations.

'Strongly recommended'

Union members voted 71% in favour of taking the first industrial action in the airline's history, although the airline pointed out that only 31% of its total cabin crew workforce voted in favour of the action.

"It is surprising that Unite has taken this step of calling action when they had previously helped to put together the deal and strongly recommended that its members accept it," Virgin Atlantic said:

"There will be no eleventh hour change to our pay offer."

The airline said its offer was worth 8.3% on basic pay over two years.

'Undervalued'

The union said its members had been offered 4.8% in the first year and the rate of inflation in the second year.

"They've not taken this decision lightly, they are a world class crew who've been undervalued for too long," said Unite national officer Brian Boyd.

"They are seeking a long-term solution to pay which recognises their loyalty and professionalism."

The union balloted 3,100 workers of whom 2,102 voted, with 1,497 voting in favour of strike action.

SEE ALSO
Virgin crews urged to back strike
02 Dec 07 |  Business
Airport staff to vote on strike
23 Nov 07 |  Business
Virgin orders 'green' Boeing jets
24 Apr 07 |  Business

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