Virgin strike pilots appeal to Branson

STRIKE dates for Virgin Atlantic pilots will be announced next week unless a dispute over pay is resolved, union leaders have warned.

Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) have voted by 97 per cent to stage walkouts in protest at a 4 per cent pay rise following a number of pay freezes.

Balpa's leaders today urged Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to become personally involved in trying to break the deadlock. General secretary Jim McAuslan said: "We hope Sir Richard is listening. If he were he'd know that pilots are hugely disappointed, do not want to strike but are absolutely resolute in seeing this through to a satisfactory conclusion.

"Virgin's customers and their pilots want to see this dispute resolved fairly and swiftly. An acknowledgement of that fact and the need to make an improved offer would solve this now."

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