Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is calling on banks to give breathing space to Thomas Cook workers struggling to pay bills and mortgages and for the government and airlines to urgently assist in getting stranded Thomas Cook workers back home to the UK free of charge.

Moving an emergency motion condemning the government’s inaction at Labour party conference tomorrow (Wednesday 25 September), Unite will also demand legislation to ensure UK airlines in financial difficulty can continue operating in a form of ‘protective administration’ rather than collapsing into insolvency as Thomas Cook did.

Commenting Diana Holland assistant general secretary said: “The indifference of the government to UK jobs and business is shameful. Ministers’ ‘do nothing’ attitude and corporate mismanagement means loyal Thomas Cook workers face not being paid next week and being stranded overseas.

“We call on airlines and the government to assist in getting all Thomas Cook workers quickly home to the UK free of charge.

“Banks can also play their part by giving Thomas Cook workers, struggling to pay their bills and mortgages, the breathing space they need and we call on the insolvency service to pay their wages as soon as possible.

“The government must learn the lessons of the collapse of Monarch and the profitable airline arm of Thomas Cook. We need to put in place arrangements that avoid UK airlines collapsing at huge cost to the taxpayer, workers and customers alike.

“The Scandinavian and German subsidiaries of Thomas Cook are still flying. Ministers must legislate as necessary to allow UK airlines in financial trouble to trade in protective administration. Other countries do it as a matter of course. We should do it in the UK.”


For more information journalists only please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 07967 665869 [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.