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TSSA Statement - Thomas Cook Government Taskforce

26 September 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed the Government's Taskforce on Thomas Cook but described the timing as "like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted."

Cortes was speaking after a round table meeting hosted by Business Secretary, Andrew Leadsom, in Parliament looking at support Ministers are planning to offer Thomas Cook staff and local communities.

Cortes said: “Our union of course welcomes a taskforce to deal with the collapse of Thomas Cook and how best to now find work for the Thomas Cook employees.

“We pressed very hard that any money owed to our members should be paid as soon as possible. I am pleased the Government understands that this matter needs to be dealt with urgently and we await positive developments on this front.

“However, this is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. We still think more effort should have been put into trying to rescue the company.

“There are still some very serious questions the Government needs to answer and soon. To that end I have written to the Chair of the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Rachel Reeves.

“I expect the Committee will wish to look into this matter because I am not satisfied that what the Government is saying is at all credible.

“For example – why would a private company like Fosun be prepared to put £450m into a company which had no future? I have had no reasonable response from Ministers on this point.

“I’m calling on the Committee to bring Ministers before them so we can get answers as to why, as has been widely reported, the Turkish and Spanish governments were prepared to make substantial investments to support Thomas Cook but the British Government refused to allow that to happen.

“Of course, most recently the German government provided €350 million to save Thomas Cook’s subsidiary – Condor - as our government simply sat on its hands.

“Our union is also stepping up efforts to try to find our members new jobs. I have written to all the companies with whom we have a relationship and have asked them to please let us know of any vacancies which might be suitable for our Thomas Cook members.

“If there are any employers out there looking for staff with customer service experience then please get in touch with us.”  

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