More than a thousand staff at holiday airline to decide on industrial action over redundancies


Thomas Cook cabin crew are to ballot on industrial action over redundancy terms, as 498 jobs face the axe.

Unite has around 1,300 members of the 1,800 cabin crew workforce and the ballot, within the next week, follows the break-down in talks with the management over its refusal to boost the redundancy terms.

The cabin crews fly from Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stansted.

Unite negotiators had asked the company to put a ‘realistic’ voluntary severance package on the table, but the union said that the management had point blank refused to enhance its current policy of two weeks per year redundancy pay.

Unite had requested a minimum of three weeks per year, plus a lump sum payment of £5,000. The average cabin crew pay is £15,000-a-year.

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 £320 million this year and is paying out a fortune in bonuses and dividends, as well as sponsoring the Olympics.”

Thomas Cook flies long and short haul flights to worldwide holiday destinations, such as the Caribbean and the USA. The company wants to reduce the size of its fleet and eradicate the rank of assistant cabin manager.


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