Virgin Atlantic pilots vote to take industrial action on 23 December

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Virgin Atlantic pilots are engaged in a row over union recognition (Source: Getty)

Virgin Atlantic pilots have voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike on 23 December.

The pilots have voted to take action in an ongoing row over union recognition, the BBC reported.

The Professional Pilots' Union (PPU), which represents most Virgin Atlantic pilots, said 88.6 per cent of its members had voted in favour of the action, and that the turnout had been 80.3 per cent.

"We value our pilots enormously and we are disappointed with the result of the ballot to take Action Short of a Strike, which essentially means ‘work to rule'," said a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson.

"We have been clear with the PPU leadership team that this action is unnecessary and we remain prepared to recognise the PPU once we have agreed the terms for voluntary recognition. We expect our flying programme to remain unaffected during this period and want to reassure our customers that all flights are operating as normal."

Meanwhile, Unite the union warned that travellers at airports across the UK will be hit by two days of strikes as workers at Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handler, down tools for two days on 23 and 24 December.

Over 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew will walk out for 48 hours at 00.01 Friday 23 December in a long-running pay dispute.

“We appreciate that this is a very busy time of year at the UK’s airports and that’s why we are calling for the company to engage in constructive talks under the auspices of Acas to resolve this dispute," said Unite national officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson.

"Unite’s door is open 24/7 for such talks. Our members are only taking this industrial action as a last resort in a bid to reach a fair settlement – our members have not had a pay rise since 2014."

The news comes days after Unite revealed that British Airways cabin crew have voted in favour of strikes in a dispute over pay. The union has not specified dates yet, but it did say that any action would begin after 21 December.

The PPU has been contacted for comment.

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