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Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vast majority of Thomas Cook Airlines' staff 'still out of work'






Only a tiny percentage of Thomas Cook Airlines' former UK staff have managed to find work with another airline and two-thirds have yet to find any work at all, according to their union Unite.

A survey of 300 staff found that six weeks after the company's collapse, the majority are struggling to get back into employment.

It said that of those who responded to the survey, only 7% had found work with another airline and 67% had not secured any form of employment.

It said only 10% had secured full-time permanent employment of any form.

Some 42% of those who were made redundant when the airline collapsed said they had secured interviews but no job offers.

Two jobs fairs were held at Manchester Airport in the immediate aftermath of Thomas Cook's collapse, both of which were supported by Unite. Airlines attending included BA, TUI and Jet2.

Unite said companies offering recruitment opportunities were taking 'only taking very small numbers' and it said there was a feeling among its members that recruitment campaign were PR stunts.

It said Thomas Cook staff were suffering financial hardship as a result of the company's failure, with only 19% of those who have applied for universal credit having received a payment.

"Those who have still received nothing report a litany of problems including being wrongly advised about what to apply for and being penalised and having to restart the process due to receiving redundancy pay and notice pay," it said.

"This has further increased hardship as following a Universal Credit interview there is a five-week delay before benefits are paid."

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland, said: "The survey demonstrates the human misery caused by the collapse of Thomas Cook.


"Highly skilled and dedicated workers, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and without warning are finding it incredibly difficult to return to employment.

"The struggle of workers to return to employment further highlights both the government's failure to understand the nature of the Thomas Cook business and a complete absence of political will.

"The airline was extremely profitable and there were already potential buyers, interested in the business.

"This survey highlights the need for the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee to complete its inquiry into Thomas Cook and for the recommendations from the Airline Insolvency Review and the Insolvency and Corporate Governance Review to be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity.

"We must take the steps needed to prevent the shocking reality of a viable profitable airline being forced into compulsory insolvency with the terrible loss of jobs and the major cost of repatriating passengers."

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