The above subject matter refers.
The case in view is the recent manner in which the Lagos based cabin crew of Virgin Atlantic have had their jobs terminated effective 30th of November via a letter dated on the 3rd of November without any prior hint or consultation and I dare say for no reasonable cause. A meeting was called by the management of Aviation Logistics Management Limited( ALML) and a Virgin Atlantic representative Alasdair Boyle( International Crew Manager) on the 3rd of November 2015 where the decision was conveyed to the crew in attendance and a letter of termination handed down thereby foreclosing any option of dialogue,negotiations or consultations in the matter.
UPDATE FROM JILL BRADY (VIRGIN ATLANTIC)
As you know, we have been looking at our crew ranks, crew complement and onboard services as we consider how to improve outcomes for our customers whilst creating a financially resilient company that can achieve sustainable growth for the future. I appreciate that it has been a difficult time for all of you as we work through this and I thank you all for your continued patience and professionalism. Whilst trial flights continue throughout November and no decision has yet been made regarding crew complement, I can now share with you the outcomes of our review on ranks and our international crew bases.
As there’s a lot of information to share I have broken this down into segments. Those who are directly affected by this announcement have already received individual communications.
UK crew changes
Senior Cabin Crew role
When reviewing our structure and cost base, it became apparent that we have more crew ranks than many other airlines. Having four distinct ranks, rather than three or less, was an example of where we have additional layers and complexity within our organisation
After very careful consideration, we have decided to simplify our rank structure by having one rank of cabin crew that will work across all cabins and, as a result, from 31 March 2016 we will no longer have a Senior Cabin Crew (SCC) role.
To mitigate against job losses there will be several options made available to all UK based SCCs. These include an alternative Cabin Crew role, voluntary redundancy and part-time options. I have written to all of our SCCs separately to inform them of this decision and the options available to them.
Cabin Service Supervisor role
We have decided that from 31 March 2016 on all B787 and A330 aircraft operating with one CSS, that this position will be manned by a UK based CSS. Whilst this means that there will be no required job losses in the UK CSS rank, there will unfortunately be an impact on our internationally based CSSs, who are being communicated with separately to inform them of this decision.
Further mitigation of UK job losses
To further mitigate against job losses in our SCC rank, we are offering all UK based Flight Service Managers (FSMs) and CSSs the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy.
To make this operationally more manageable we will be offering people the choice to leave the business on one of two staggered dates; one in April 2016 and the other in October 2016.
We are clearly going through an unprecedented level of change and I am conscious that our new rank structures may not please everyone. This voluntary redundancy opportunity will allow all onboard managers to make the right decision for them.
We have also been conducting a full review of our international crew ranks in Lagos, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Delhi.
Having four international bases, all with locally based cabin crew, was another example of additional layers, complexity and cost within our organisation. We are therefore making the following changes to restructure our international bases.
Lagos based crew
The primary purpose of having Lagos based cabin crew has been to provide cultural expertise. However, recent customer research has shown that this is no longer a requirement on the Lagos route. As a result and to reduce complexity in our operation we have decided that from 30 November 2015, we will be closing our Lagos crew base.
Our Lagos based crew have been met with and written to separately to inform them of this decision.
International crew roles
Having carefully reviewed our customer service offering, we have decided that from 31 March 2016 we will be reducing the complement of international cabin crew on flights to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Delhi to two crew members.
This decision, alongside the removal of the SCC rank, smaller B787 and A330 aircraft now making up the majority of our fleet and our decision to operate these aircraft using a UK based CSS, means that there will no longer be a business requirement for CSSs and SCCs in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Delhi from 31 March 2016.
All affected international crew members have been communicated with separately to inform them of this decision. Whilst these changes to our international bases are an important step to drive simplicity and improve our operational costs, they have not been easy decisions. Those affected in our international bases have been dedicated and respected members of our team and I know that many of you will be upset that friends and colleagues will no longer be working with us. I want to assure you that we will ensure that they are supported through this difficult time.
We do recognise that our customers still require language expertise on our Shanghai, Delhi and Hong Kong routes and so internationally based crews in the Cabin Crew rank will therefore remain unaffected.
I appreciate that this will be a difficult time for all affected UK and International crews and I would ask that you give them your full support and understanding over the coming weeks. I also recognise that there is a lot of information to absorb and I am sorry that many of you will receive this news whilst you are away from home or preparing for duty. I know this is difficult news and that some of you will now be considering the options available to you. Please make sure you speak to your Cabin Crew Managers and read the relevant sections of the intranet to get all of the information you need to make the right decision for you.
Finally, your dedication to our customers throughout this time has remained steadfast and I want to finish by assuring you that it is recognised and appreciated.
Executive Vice President – Customer
Inferring from the above, even within the context of internationally based crew comprising Lagos, Delhi, Hong Kong and Shanghai, only the Lagos crew have no option of keeping their jobs within the regular cabin crew rank. Whilst other international crew have till March 2016( 4 months from now) for the redundancy to be effective their Lagos counterpart have been given less than a month to stop work (30th of November 2015).
While Jill Brady was conscious to mitigate against job losses to the UK based crew she however did not consider their Lagos counterpart worthy of such consideration.They have been used while they were needed and unceremoniously dumped to save cost to the business and protect Job cuts to the UK crew even though Lagos as a route is one of the reasons Virgin Atlantic as a company can still make profit. Simply put, without the Lagos route Virgin Atlantic will be in the red.<