Brit holiday chaos: Thomas Cook cabin crew to strike?

Thomas Cook cabin crew to strike?PA


Thomas Cook cabin crew are threatening an industrial strike following a breakdown in talks with management over redundancy packages.

Around 1,300 of Thomas Cook's 1,800 cabin crew will vote next week on whether to take industrial action.

Airports that would be affected include Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stansted.

Unite the Union said that 498 jobs face the axe, but it has been unable to agree redundancy terms with management, who, they say, 'point blank refused' its offer of two weeks per year redundancy pay.

Unite had originally requested a minimum of three weeks per year, plus a lump sum of £5,000 for each cabin crew member, who typically earns around £15,000 a year.

In a statement, Unite regional officer Mick Whitley said: 'The company was only interested in putting in place the building blocks for voluntary and compulsory redundancies.

'This has left Unite with no other alternative but to suspend the consultation talks and hold a consultative ballot with the Unite membership at Thomas Cook. The ballot will be conducted within the next week to gauge the feeling of our members.

'We are completely against the redundancy terms and any compulsory redundancies purely to make more profit. The group has made £320m this year and is paying out a fortune in bonuses and dividends, as well as sponsoring the Olympics.'

Thomas Cook recently announced a number of cost-cutting plans, including the removal of six long-haul aircraft by the end of the year, plans to cull 250 jobs in the Thomas Cook Airlines staff at Manchester Airport, and the closure of 24 shops across the UK.

On the store closures, Thomas Cook's UK chief executive said: 'Our high street stores are the most popular way for customers to book with us and an essential part of our multi-channel approach, alongside websites and sales centres.

'However, there are times, like today, when we will propose closing a small number of individual stores to remain effective in this competitive environment.

'We will do all that we can to minimise the impact on affected customers and colleagues.'

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