Hundreds of Thomas Cook workers were offered hope as they flocked to a massive jobs fair held at Manchester Airport on Thursday (October 3).
The fair, spearheaded by the Greater Manchester Growth Company in conjunction with the Combined Authorities, brought together Thomas Cook workers and a range of employers, including Network Rail, the NHS, Whitbread, Next and others, with 5,000 vacancies said to have been on offer.
It was a busy day for ex-Thomas Cook workers who — though still fighting for answers after the company they’d dedicated their working lives to collapsed under dubious circumstances — are eager to move forward with their futures.
Those attending the jobs fair flocked to Unite’s stall, with many members, like cabin crew member Barbara Thompson in the video below, hailing Unite’s support through such a difficult time:
Unite members also took to Twitter to praise the jobs fair and the union’s unwaivering support:
If anyone needed a reason why they should join a union then they need look no further than the plight of #ThomasCook staff. Even when they lost their jobs their union was there fighting for them. Solidarity ✊
— Laura Knotts 🌹 (@Gingerbubble14) October 3, 2019
Unite heard from a number of members about their experience with the union in the last week.
Cabin crew member Geraldine told UniteLive, “As soon as I started with Monarch I joined the union. I’m so glad I kept up my membership with Unite to get me through this again. The best thing I did was join Unite.”
Colin, another former Thomas Cook cabin crew member added, “I’ve always been a member of the union but never needed assistance before. They have been so helpful every step of the way.”
Unite member and veteran Thomas Cook cabin crew manager for 20 years Steve Kearney was among those who attended Thursday’s job fair:
Former Thomas Cook workers of all ages and from all walks of life visited Unite’s stall to find out more about how the union can help them:
Unite is also supporting Thomas Cook workers through a number of mass meetings across the country, informing both members and non-members alike about issues such as how to claim unpaid wages and secure redundancy pay.
Unite is fighting for its members politically, too — on Wednesday, the union staged a mass demo at Parliament demanding that the government intervene to support Thomas Cook workers and ensure that there is full inquiry into the company’s collapse.
Stay tuned on UniteLive for the latest on Thomas Cook as the union continues to fight for its members.
- Images and video by Karen Viquerat; last image Mark Thomas