Virgin’s new homeowners Bain set to savage pilots’ pay

Virgin's new owners Bain set to savage pilots' pay

Virgin has already given the Virgin pilots union the broad brushstrokes of the pay and situations points it’s looking for to handle however little quantitative element as negotiations on a brand new enterprise bargaining settlement are nonetheless within the early phases.

It has been estimated that the cuts in pay and situations being sought run as excessive as an equal of 40 per cent however Virgin maintains this estimate is just too excessive.

It’s the thunderbolt that many within the trade had been ready for however the savageness of the cuts continues to be shocking.

Bain determined to place off the thorny difficulty of coping with employees remuneration whereas Virgin was underneath administration – a transfer seen as securing employees help for its bid.

But radically resetting the airline’s price base was a elementary a part of the non-public fairness group’s roadmap for the long run profitability of the airline for which it paid $3.5 billion.


The prospect of attacking wage prices and situations to such an extent would have been unthinkable a 12 months in the past, however the COVID-19-induced close to grounding of a lot of the home and worldwide fleet of Australian airways has shifted the tectonic plates for the aviation trade.

Bain’s capacity to reset Virgin pilots’ pay is enabled partly by the expiry of their enterprise bargaining settlement however success in attaining the result has been enhanced by the truth that there are tens of 1000’s of surplus pilots world wide.

Ultimately pilots have little or no leverage with which to barter pay and situations.

Already Virgin’s flight attendants have been requested to take a lower of that magnitude – after cuts to allowances and perks are taken under consideration.

To date Virgin has slashed 3000 employees and 150 in head workplace, having stood down 6000 within the early days of COVID-19 and there’s an expectation that this quantity will rise earlier than the cull is full.

Qantas can be thought-about unlikely to have accomplished its employees redundancies however like Virgin it’s nonetheless being cushioned by Jobkeeper.

Qantas makes no secret of the truth that if Virgin cuts a swathe by the wages and situations of its pilots it is going to be going to the unions to redress its aggressive drawback.

It’s the thunderbolt that many within the trade had been ready for however the savageness of the cuts continues to be shocking.

It stays to be seen how this might be achieved underneath the present enterprise bargaining agreements however Qantas boss Alan Joyce is famous for taking part in hardball on industrial relations.

Only final week Qantas acquired a rebuke from the Federal Court for misusing JobKeeper and pocketing a part of these authorities subsidies. The court docket rejected the airline’s arguments that it may use staff’ earnings paid in arrears to scale back the top-up quantity it should make to get their pay to the minimal $1500 a fortnight required underneath JobKeeper.

Even earlier than COVID hit Joyce managed to get a 30 per cent productiveness carry when introducing direct flights from Perth to London and once more on the Sunrise undertaking to fly direct from Sydney and Melbourne to London, Paris and New York.

In the present circumstances he has a far higher incentive to empty each log to minimise prices.

Only a number of weeks in the past Joyce engineered an public sale between the jap state governments – to see which would supply the most effective incentive to accommodate Qantas’ head workplace and numerous different services.

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