Transport Workers' Union

After announcing significant half-year profit results of $236 million following the hard work and sacrifices of its workforce, Virgin and owners Bain Capital must recommit to the promises made to workers during administration, and urgently settle a fair agreement with pilots.

Those commitments included maximising jobs, prioritising workers, retaining regional arm VARA, and returning to a full capacity airline.

Virgin workers, who played a pivotal role during administration and have been instrumental in delivering the results announced today, also called on Bain Capital4 last year to make commitments towards good, secure jobs, investment in the airline, insourcing, an employee share scheme and industry reform.

After filing Protected Action Ballots during bargaining last year, ground crew and cabin crew groups both averted strike action by settling agreements with Virgin ensuring fair pay increases and improvements to work-life balance and job security.

Pilots are still in bargaining with the airline and pushing for a fair outcome, with Virgin still displaying minimal movement.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the strong profit results as a result of workers’ efforts showed the need for Bain Capital to recommit to repaying and investing in its loyal workforce, and urgently settle a fair deal with pilots.

“Virgin workers have put in the hard yards to turn this airline around from the brink of devastation, making huge sacrifices during the pandemic. With a new CEO waiting in the wings and the potential for profits to keep climbing, it’s now time for owners Bain Capital to recommit to good, secure jobs for the workers who have delivered these strong financial results.”

“Last year workers came to Bain with a sensible, pragmatic plan to ensure the airline’s future. Bain’s listened and has made insourcing commitments, in stark contrast to the Qantas approach of illegal outsourcing and workforce fragmentation. It now must continue to prioritise decent work to ensure Virgin’s long-term success.”

“After ground and cabin crew workers last year settled agreements ensuring fair pay increases and work-life balance, Bain must now urgently come forward with a decent offer for pilots.”

“We need a strong aviation industry into our future, and that means investing in good, decent aviation jobs, and constructive engagement with workers. To do that we need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to enable decisions to be made in the public interest, and not in the Qantas interest of smashing jobs and inflating executive pay.”

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