April 15, 2021

Virgin Cabin Crew: here's why we're recommending a "yes" vote

Over the last few weeks, your Bargaining Committee has been working tirelessly in the Fair Work Commission fighting for the best possible outcome for Crew based on your feedback in surveys and discussions.

The reality is that a “no” vote is a vote for the Award. We’re therefore recommending a “yes” vote for the agreement which provides far better pay, conditions and protections which enable us to maximise our collective strength.

Pledge to vote yes to the agreement:


We’re recommending a ‘yes’ vote. Here’s why.

We know this has been a really difficult time for everyone. It’s important to remember that in July last year, Bain’s intention was to terminate our agreement and place us on the Award.

We fought back and what we have been able to achieve by sticking together is no mean feat and everyone can be proud of it.

It is key that we lock in this agreement and spend the next two years holding the company to account to build our strength and win key improvements in the next Agreement in 2023.

We know you have a lot of questions and concerns about the EA. We’ve compiled the below FAQ to address these, as well as to dispel some of the misunderstandings that have been circulating:

Q. What happens if we vote no?

A. If the outcome of the vote is a majority “no” (50% +1), the company has been clear that it will immediately apply to the Fair Work Commission to terminate our agreement. Virgin will not return to the bargaining table and the Commission has advised that it will not direct Virgin to continue to bargain with us.

Q. I’ve been told our agreement can’t be terminated.

A. This is WRONG. Virgin has met all of the requirements to terminate the Agreement and the Fair Work Commission has been explicit in saying to your bargaining committee that a successful termination is a mere formality.

Q. What happens if our agreement is terminated?

A. If our agreement is terminated, our pay and conditions revert to those of the Modern Award for Cabin Crew.

Q. Why can’t we go back to the table for further negotiation?

A. Virgin has been clear that it does not have more money to spend than it already has, which is why it engaged the assistance of the Fair Work Commission to mediate as a final step before applying to terminate. We have reached the end of the line now that the Commission has made its recommendations.

Q. The modern Award is not much worse than what we have now.

A. WRONG! The pay and conditions of the Modern Award are significantly inferior to the proposed draft.

Here’s how the proposed agreement compares to the Award.

Click here to view the full Award.

You can also view the recommendations from Fair Work Commissioner Spencer on how crew should accept the deal.

Q. I’ve been told an agreement takes 12 months to be terminated.

A. There is currently no backlog of agreements in Fair Work. An agreement can take as little as 2 weeks to be formally terminated.

Q. Once we lose conditions we never get them back.

A. We have every opportunity to win back conditions when we negotiate a new agreement in 2023, when Virgin will not have the leverage of a pandemic and poor financial performance to justify constraining terms and conditions. What will determine how successful we are going forward is our collective strength – that means union membership. High union membership means next time WE have the advantage. This is our opportunity to build our membership, fight back and win!

A recommendation to vote “Yes” is never made lightly. We are all cabin crew and want the best outcome for all TWU members. Whilst far from perfect, this Agreement is the best that could be achieved in the current environment impacting aviation.

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