Unions urge Government to intervene and revive Thomas Cook

Unions leaders are stepping up calls for the Government to intervene in the Thomas Cook crisis after news that the German airline subsidiary of the travel giant is being given finance to help secure a rescue deal.

Condor is being given six months financing by the German Government, worth a reported £350 million, to continue to operate.

Thousands of UK workers have lost their jobs and face a battle to receive any redundancy pay after Thomas Cook went out of business on Monday.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said: “Good luck to the Condor staff and customers, but with UK holidaymakers stranded and 9,000 staff out of a job, the Thomas Cook directors need to explain why the UK airline had to be closed but the German one was allowed to continue to operate.

Thomas Cook ceases trading
Thomas Cook has ceased trading (Steve Parsons/PA)

“How was it funded, because it seems there is nothing left in the coffers for UK staff?

“And why couldn’t the UK government give the same kind of bridging support as the German government when it was well known that Thomas Cook had a Chinese buyer lined up? It’s a national scandal.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association said: “Unlike our PM, the German government doesn’t for one second think that using public money to save jobs is a moral hazard.

“(Boris) Johnson should get rid of his undergraduate economic dogma and live, like the German government, in the real world.

TSSA General Secretary @Manuel_TSSA reacted to news the German Government has brought #condorairlines – part of the collapsed #ThomasCook business – by saying "if government intervention is good for the Germans, it should also be good for us too.”https://t.co/ZYLKCnXxespic.twitter.com/grGd9KNY8a

— TSSA (@TSSAunion) September 24, 2019

“The problem isn’t one of a moral hazard, it’s the immorality of his Government which won”t even lift its little finger to save 9,000 jobs.

“The British assets of Thomas Cook must be taken into public ownership and just as the Germans have done, the company can rise back from its ashes.

“If government intervention is good for the Germans, it should also be good for us too.”

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said 95% of people were being flown home on the original date of departure at the end of their holiday.

“We have now operated over 130 flights in the first two days of this operation, returning almost 30,000 people to the UK.

Thomas Cook ceases trading
Empty check-in desks at Manchester Airport (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I would like those remaining on holiday to enjoy the rest of their stay because we aim to also fly you home on the day when you were originally booked to fly with Thomas Cook, or very shortly thereafter.

“This remains a highly complex operation and I would like to thank holidaymakers for their patience as some inconvenience and disruption is likely.

“I’d also like to stress my thanks to the UK airline industry and our partners which have lent us incredible support for what is the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation.”

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