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Virgin set for strike negotiations with pilots

Virgin pilots threaten to strike over leave days

23 August 2010

Virgin could be set for strike negotiations with pilots as early as this week as staff threaten to hold a ballot on industrial action.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) will hold showdown talks with Virgin bosses over a long-running dispute over leave.

The current system guarantees pilots 120 days off a year, in addition to holiday, as they regularly work on weekends and bank holidays.

However, proposed changes would see their time off cut by 14 days, with reports claiming union members would vote overwhelmingly of walkouts in what would be first strike in the history of the airline.

Jim McAuslan, Balpa's general secretary, claims the union has always attempted to assist the running of airlines in the past.

He said: "To now find that the company is breaching an agreement and denying many pilots their entitlement to the equivalent of a weekend off is a real slap in the face and one which we cannot accept."

Virgin has confirmed it will meet pilots at its weekly meeting tomorrow (August 23rd). 

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