Thomas Cook plan strike, which will mess up your holibobs

6 October 2011

thomas cook strikeThomas Cook cabin crew are threatening to go on strike following after talks cooled with management over redundancy packages.

It is estimated that 1,300 of the holiday company's 1,800 cabin crew will vote next week on whether to take industrial action.

How does that affect you? Well, the airports that will be hit include Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stansted.

Unite, representing the cabin crewers, say that nearly 500 jobs are set to be given the chop, but alas, they've been unable to agree redundancy terms with management, who, they say, 'point blank refused' its offer of two weeks per year redundancy pay.

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 that they'll be cutting costs by removing six long-haul aircraft by the end of the year, axing 250 jobs in the Thomas Cook Airlines staff at Manchester Airport and closing 24 of their shops across the UK.

In short, it's not a bad idea to choose a different company to go on holiday with while they sort this mess out.

TOPICS:   Travel

8 comments

  • oliverreed
    Whenever I hear the term strike action I just think workshy lazy bastards, accept it or fuck off. The Post Office and British Airways, in my opinion, have soiled the term, with dole offices & teachers finally wringing it's neck more recently. So many people have been impacted by job losses and certainly the fear of being laid off, cutbacks and pay freezes these last couple of years I wonder if anyone can find sympathy for the trolley dollys? Thomas Cook share price is in the shit, 25% of what it should be, they need to unload some dead weight. Yes, I know you aren't highly paid bankers who caused the issue, however the Smiths family who've saved all year aren't guilty of that either.
  • The B.
    I kind of agree, unions were formed to stop staff being abused, some now seem to now believe that their sole existence is to fleece the employer for everything they're worth (RMT, I'm looking specifically at you here).
  • Ownbossmakegbgreat
    The bosses of UNITE are worried they might loose many of their 1300 members from Thomas Cook Airlines, this might either lead to a drop in their beefy salary or need to increase union member fees. They make out that the company is in a healthy state by stating the company profit but dont tell you the balance sheet shows a £900m loss. They also state the average salary of the air crew but dont tell you that these employees pay a fraction of the income tax of the normal employee, as the hours they work in the air is classified as out of the country and has a far lower tax applied. So they are not so lowly paid as portraid. The company is offering two weeks redundancy pay for each year of service which the union say is derogitary .......... get real the majority of people being made redundant from small to medium sized private companies only get One week per year service. The offer is double the minimum and in the current world econimic climate I would recommend staff to accept the company offer. It is always a sad day when a company makes employees redundant and is never done lightly but is done fore the company to live on for hopefully better days ahead. The management must also have a good look at themselves to see if their performance and pay is justified in acordance to the company results and act accordingly. Case closed.
  • Martin
    Utterly self-defeating. Just like BA it will just push people away to other companies or indeed other sorts of holidays. Don't people realise that it's better overall to actually keep your job and have worse pay that to lose not only your job but the business that used to employ you? Bad for the few losing their jobs but if their sacrifice doesn't happen everyone suffers and there will be no opportunity to get back into work when things get better in the future. In many cases it's not like these are jobs that couldn't easily be taken by someone else, they are not jobs that need years of education like being a doctor or nurse. Unions (mine included) seem to think that they need to rail against anything a government does without looking at the bigger picture. Too busy earning the same wages as 'the man' they are railing against to look at the reality of the situation.
  • David
    I would like to make a comment as a member of cabin crew. To the idiot who posted above about being work shy b******s etc.. You are the idiot. As cabin crew we work extremely hard for our money and when a huge company like Thomas Cook do it on you from a great height, what do you expect the cabin crew to do? just say yes thats fine, like you would i'm sure!. All the luck in the World to the Thomas Cook crew. Bring them to there knees - they deserv it
  • Ian
    The Thomas Cook Cabin Crew are not voting to go on strike over pay rise etc they are concerned about how cutting cabin crew numbers will affect the safety of its passengers and the level of service that its customers will receive. The removal of the Assitant Cabin Manager will mean that there will be no senior cabin crew member at the rear of the aircraft. If a group of people decide to get drunk on their own duty free vodka at the back of the airctaft and start a fight onboard and the only senior crew member is situated at the front, by the time they get to the back of the aircraft it may well be to late st stop an innocent child from being hurt in the brawl etc etc. You need experienced crew onboard who know how to deal with these situations not just seasonal teenagers who do it for a summer job as a way of seeing the world. Would you feel safe at the back of the plane if no one was in charge?
  • RegularFlyer
    I did not realize Thomas Cook was one of those airlines which has hen/ batchelor parties on board who get drunk! I thought these were normally found on airlines like Easyjet / Ryanair .... Easyjet is now the number one airline in the UK, but have not seen any of these dangerous situations reported in the news. They only operate with one cabin manager and the rest cabin crew. I gather this is also the case with your competing tour operator Thompson Airlines. I would suggest TC aircrew accept the terms offered by the company, you are not in BA's league. To the crew member who posted the above comment - "Bring them to there knees – they deserv it" I would suggest if that is their attitude to his/ her employer they shut up or get out.
  • Mart
    Well, not "realising" means you shouldn't really say much about this. Thomas Cook own 18-30's, and as a result their airline carry a large amount of this type of passenger on their flights. To make it clear; these type of passengers can be much more abusive/violent than your typical stag party. But being a regular flyer I'm sure this was something you momentarily forgot. Easy have had NO disruptive passengers!?!? I beg to differ. Not every airline would want to air their disruptive passenger profile in the media, so that is perhaps the reason why you haven't heard that in recent months Thomas Cook have had unprecedented occurrences of disruption from their customers. This is why I support comments from the likes of Ian with regards to having someone in charge at the rear of the aircraft. The comment about Easy not having seniors at the rear; please, before you claim to know anything, have a look at the fleet of the two airlines. You'll quickly see that Thomas Cook fly 767's and 330's amongst their offerings. These aircraft hold CONSIDERABLY more people and also have bulkheads separating cabins. With regards to tax; DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Thomas Cook pilots and cabin crew are taxed at virtually the same rate as any other "person that works on the ground" whilst their colleagues in other airlines enjoy the luxurys you suggested in your comments. This is something that a number of airlines were investigated in, and Thomas Cook offered little support to it's staff - whereas their competitors aided their employees in proving that their aprrox £3 per hour rate whilst "out of the country" what just enough to allow people to feed themselves. Go look at a menu in Canada / Barbados / Mexico / Florida and then work out just how much breakfast, lunch and dinner might cost. You will quickly see that this taxable £3approx per hour isn't part of a take home salary. The crew who have worked for Thomas Cook have been paid a basic wage, and hourly rate and a level of commission. The basic wages for cabin crew are notoriously low, and whilst the other factors in pay can significantly increase the take home salary, you need to understand that as humans we all live to our means to some degree. With a redundancy situation such as this, a cabin crew member who might be on £25k would only receive the redundancy package on their basic salary - which could be as low as £13k. This is also based on a person's Permanent start date, and many cabin crew can work for years for a company before receiving an all year round contract. Another comment made referred to small and medium private businesses, Thomas Cook are none of these! Some would argue that it is the greed aspect of shareholders that are driving this business to the wall. Last year alone they paid out nearly 100 million in bonuses to their applicable management. The current proposals that UNITE are dealing with amass a saving in the region of 3m should they go ahead. Thomson might be a competitor to Thomas Cook, but they have a very different customer base and since the removal of the "assistan cabin manager" things haven't been quite as rosy as you suggest. In fact, early indications show that the removal of this role is actually costing this airline money due to discrepancies in monies taken and lack of revenue received onboard. (the senior at the rear of the aircraft is largely responsible for this). I don't think Thomas Cook "deserve everything they get" from this turbulent time, but certainly a different attitude to their committed employees wouldn't go amiss. Other comments which have surprised me are such as "you are not in BA's league" - here here! Thomas Cook currently don't offer a bag of seeds or a sandwich as a snack on short sectors. Instead, their cabin crew, (of which there are less onboard) offer a cooked meal, a bar service and duty free! And that comment was from a "regular flyer". Before you mention it, Thomas Cook do not currently have any plans to compete with BA, and this is reflected in the price of their longhaul seats. (where again, the crew have no rest area, there are less of them onboard for a significantly higher amount of passengers, and whilst beverages are charged for, there are far more "trolley services" offered. By this, I mean the crew don't stop working.) People do realise that it's better to keep your job and have worse pay, but this is not something that Thomas Cook seem to want to consider. Instead, the consensus is that although the company is in consultation from a legal perspective, they had clear and defined intentions prior to the 90 day period and therefore are dismissing all other proposals from both employees and their representing union. I can't help but wonder just how much of that 3m saving will go to the fat cats in charge of this cull. Oh, and before I go, remember people, an airline is for safety before the frilly customer service, and if you, like me live in the UK, it's not that unlikely that we will at some point travel with Thomas Cook or Thomson. When you are sat in that worn out tired seat, looking at the lack of legroom, wondering sbout customer service before, during and after your holiday, the price of beverages onboard, the lack of available services, no inflight entertainment, a lighter wallet due to paying excess baggage, think two things; 1. Did the cabin crew make all the above decisions that make my holiday seems miserable? 2. Am I safe if something kicks off on this plane? I can tell you now, both answers will be no, but it's likely that the people you complain to in writing won't be responsible either, THOSE people will surely have moved on after receiving their bonus. CASE CLOSED.

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