Bra wars: Virgin Trains in row over see-through uniforms
The new uniforms were due to launch today (Wednesday), but will now be launched in three weeks after complaints from female staff that the blouses are so flimsy they would allow male passengers to see dark bras being worn underneath.
Virgin rail chiefs have now offered staff members a £20 voucher to "buy suitable undergarments" to wear under the new uniforms for use on Sir Richard's West Coast main line train and station services between Euston and Scotland.
Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA union, told the Evening Standard: "Our female staff are upset because they feel Sir Richard is cutting corners by asking them to wear flimsy blouses which are skimpy.
"He has asked Vivienne Westwood to design the new uniform for his air crews. Unfortunately, it looks like he is getting the blouses for train crews from Del Boy at Trotters Independent Traders Ltd."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Andy Cross, Virgin's business support director, told the employees' website: "It's important that our people feel comfortable and so we will be issuing vouchers in the next few days for ladies to buy undergarments to wear under their blouses."
The Mirror reports that Mr Cross added: "Female employees concerned about the new blouse will be offered a £20 voucher to buy suitable undergarments.
"We always envisaged that we would need to review the situation once people started wearing their new uniform and accept this as an important part of the uniform trial."
However, Virgin have also defended the new uniforms, and state that they are "not see-through". A spokesman for Virgin Trains told Aol Travel: "You'll see from photo (above) that the blouses are not see through.
"However, to respond to union claims, we are using the same material as many retail companies use for uniforms, including Eurostar. The same uniform supplier provides to many companies.
"We also involved 500 staff in the design and clearly females would not have approved inappropriate blouses.
"But we have said that, if anyone has a concern, we will give vouchers to be used on tops that can be worn underneath, but this will be a small minority."
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