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TSSA Calls For TUI Union Recognition After Thomas Cook Collapse

1 October 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to TUI seeking to discuss union recognition and collective bargaining for staff in its retail network.

The demise of Thomas Cook leaves the TUI Group as the sole major, vertically integrated, tour operator in the UK.

In the letter Cortes writes - ‘You may be aware that TSSA has historically enjoyed recognition for retail staff across Thomas Cook before its demise as well as for members in Thomson Travel before it became part of the TUI group’.

Commenting on the proposal Cortes said: “The sad demise of Thomas Cook has clearly shown to travel trade workers the value of trade union membership.

“Our union fully understands the needs of retail travel staff as we have over 120 years’ experience representing workers in Thomas Cook and other travel retailers such as Thomson's, which now part of TUI.

“I have therefore written to Andrew Flintham, the Managing Director for TUI in Britain and Ireland, seeking a meeting to discuss recognition of our union for his retail workforce.

“Our union was recognised in Thomson's, so we are looking to rebuild our old acquaintances.

“We are also working with colleagues in our global union movement, particularly trade unionists in Germany who already enjoy recognition within TUI, to make the case to Mr Flintham and his team.

“What we are seeking is for TUI workers on our high streets to be treated in the same manner as their German counterparts. It’s important they are given a collective voice through recognition of our union.

“There is a very simple message for travel trade retail workers - join our TSSA family today.”


The full text of the letter can be read here

‘Dear Andrew,

I would like to request a meeting to discuss the possibility of TUI recognising our trade union, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, (TSSA), for the purposes of collective bargaining in respect of your retail network in Britain and Ireland.

You may be aware that TSSA has historically enjoyed recognition for retail staff across Thomas Cook before its demise as well as for members in Thomson Travel before it became part of the TUI group. We therefore have many years of experience of working with employers in the travel industry on behalf of their employees and in a spirit of cooperation which benefits both parties.

You may also be aware that a future Labour Government has promised to introduce sectoral collective bargaining across the UK, and with this in mind I think that there would be value in us exploring the possibility of voluntary recognition in advance of this.

I look forward to your response, and in particular to the possibility of our meeting to discuss the question of voluntary recognition further.

Yours sincerely

Manuel Cortes

General Secretary’

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