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TSSA 'Think Again' Call On TUI Recognition

4 October 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on TUI bosses to "think again" after the tour operator turned down discussions on 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.

Cortes had written to Andrew Flintham, Managing Director for TUI, pointing out that TSSA had historically enjoyed recognition for retail staff members in Thomson Travel before it became part of the TUI group.

However, TUI have responded saying they prefer to rely on ‘informal and formal networks’ for staff to share views and concerns in the workplace.

Reacting, Cortes said: “I would urge TUI to think again – they have nothing to fear from union recognition which gives their staff a real say over their rights, pay and working conditions.

“We already have several dozen members at TUI and a truly progressive employer would not offer up sham structures as anything comparable with membership of our union.

“It’s also interesting that our German counterpart, Verdi (German United Services Trade Union) are supporting our claim for recognition as is the International Transport Workers Federation.

“All we are seeking is for TUI workers on our high-streets to be treated like their German counterparts. They must be given a collective voice through recognition of our union. TUI should behave like a modern 21st Century company and not Victorian mill owners by denying their staff a collective voice.

“After the collapse of Thomas Cook there has never been a more pressing need for workers to join our travel workers union - TSSA.

“Our union clearly 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.

“We will now be working hard speaking to all retail staff at TUI so they fully appreciate the value of being in our union family after the shocking collapse of Thomas Cook.

“We remain open to discussions with TUI on union recognition. We want to resolve this issue amicably. However, the Company’s Britain and Ireland board should reflect on the fact that our union can be a great friend but also a formidable enemy – we aren’t going to away quietly.”  

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