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January 08, 2019

Appeal for High Court Injunction - further update


The Professional Pilots Union (PPU) has today sought leave to appeal the High Court injunction against their industrial action.

The PPU were planning a series of strikes starting in the Christmas and New Year period and stretching into March in support of its claim for recognition by Virgin Atlantic.


Virgin Atlantic maintained they would only deal with their preferred union, BALPA, and were granted an 11th hour injunction by the High Court preventing the strikes on December 20th.


In submitting the leave to appeal the court’s decision, lawyers for the PPU, Towns Needham Solicitors , say that the ruling has far reaching effect for the airline industry, and describe it as a landmark case.

Alex Barley, solicitor and Director at Towns Needham, said: "We are confident that the ruling can be successfully challenged, and as an indication of that we are conducting the appeal on a no win, no fee basis.

"As it stands, the precedent set by the court's decision will have far-reaching effects on any similar actions by airline unions in the future, and Towns Needham are happy to support the PPU in this case."

Since the injunction was granted the PPU - who represent a third of VA’s pilots -, have held talks with VA at ACAS HQ in London with a view to reaching agreement on recognition and the union playing a full part in negotiations over the company’s review of pilot’s terms and conditions.


Spokesmen for the PPU, former Red Arrows and Virgin pilot Steve Johnson, said that despite the lodging of the appeal the union is hopeful that VA will want a resolution without referring to the courts.


“It is our hope that these talks achieve our ambition within a reasonable timeframe, and that the outcome of the appeal will prove to be academic.

“Litigation is very expensive – VA fielded an 11-strong team of lawyers to secure their injunction, but a resolution to what we see as a reasonable demand to be recognised can be obtained for free simply by talking to us.”

The statements presented to the court as part of the injunction hearing are in the public domain, but to assist you we have placed the full suite of court documents on our website at this link: