Published on Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thomas Cook staff delivered 'devastating' news

Union chiefs representing Thomas Cook staff have described the news, less than two weeks before Christmas, that up to 661 staff could lose their jobs as part of plans to close 115 shops early next year as "devastating".

However, officials said they were working with Thomas Cook to try to keep the level of redundancies to a minimum.

Usdaw confirmed that 60 of the shops to close are from the Thomas Cook/Going Places estate, affecting 388 jobs, 47 are from the Co-operative Group estate, affecting 223 staff, and eight are Midlands Co-op stores, hitting 50 staff.

Thomas Cook said the shops earmarked for closure had been selected on the basis of lease expiry dates, financial performance, proximity to other stores and the profile of their customer catchment area.

Usdaw national officer Sharon Ainsworth said the union was always aware the Thomas Cook/Co-op merger would lead to job losses, but it had no choice but to go along with it to secure the long-term future of the Co-op's travel business.

She added: "Thomas Cook is fully consulting with Usdaw and our key priority will be to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum. Hopefully there will be opportunities for redeployment and we'll be trying to maximise these and do everything else we can to support and represent our members through this very difficult time.

"There is never a good time to be told your job is at risk but to hear just before Christmas is particularly devastating for everyone affected."

The closures are subject to a statutory 90-day consultation period and no redundancies are expected before March 17 next year, said Usdaw, which represents 1,000 staff formerly employed by the Co-operative Group and Midlands Co-operative.

By Linsey McNeill


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  • Did me no harm

    In 1968 I was thrown on the dole when the Airline I loved went bust thanks to the Government of the Day's Aviation Policy. If Travel is in your Blood you will survive.

    By Kenneth Townsley, Friday, December 30, 2011

  • The Apprentices

    What are Thomas Cooks plans for the young apprentices that were probably looking forward to a long and happy career in the Travel industry.? These poor kids will end up on the jobs scrap heap again.

    By Gary Hewitt, Thursday, December 15, 2011

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