‘Sir Richard Branson was facing a furious backlash from Labour MPs on Monday after his Virgin Atlantic airline said it will ask staff to take eight weeks’ unpaid leave because of the coronavirus crisis.
As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to grow across the world, Virgin announced an 80% reduction in flights by next Thursday.
As part of this, staff have been “asked” to take eight weeks’ unpaid leave over the next three months, with the cost spread over six months’ salary.
The airline said this is to guard against job losses and claimed unions BALPA and UNITE supported its measures.
However, a number of high-profile Labour MPs – including deputy leadership candidates Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler – angrily turned against the airline and billionaire founder Sir Richard.’
Read more: ‘Flog your private island’: Furious backlash against Richard Branson over Virgin Atlantic staff’s unpaid leave