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Virgin leadership change presents an opportunity to reset relationship with workers

20 February 2024 By ASU

The Australian Services Union notes Virgin’s announcement of an impending change of leadership, following CEO Jayne Hrdlicka’s resignation, providing the chance to reset its relationship with workers.

ASU Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske said the global search for a new CEO presented an opportunity for the airline and the union to start working together in the interests of staff.

“Virgin, under the current management, has not always valued the contributions of its hard-working staff and has actively fought against the union’s efforts to ensure workers have access to fair pay and conditions,” said Ms Gaske.

“Customer service staff are the heartbeat of an organisation such as Virgin yet the ASU’s reasonable requests for recognition of those workers and the establishment of fair and stable rosters have repeatedly been met with significant resistance.

“This is no way to treat a workforce that accepted wage freezes during the pandemic and stood by the airline during a time of significant uncertainty, which has undoubtedly played a major role in Virgin’s return to profit.

Ms Gaske said the union was looking forward to working constructively with the new CEO.

“Virgin itself proclaimed that its people have been a “centrepiece” of a successful transformation,” she said.

“The ASU looks forward to working closely with new management to ensure this sentiment is reflected in fair pay and conditions, as well as job security, for employees as the airline chases continued profit growth and market expansion.”

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Name: Tim O’Halloran
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