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Thomas Cook demo

Thomas Cook workers to protest in parliament ahead of mass meetings across the UK
Barckley Sumner, Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Thomas Cook workers from all parts of the country who were made redundant last Monday (September 23), will on Wednesday (October 2) hold a lobby and demonstration in parliament from 11am to 3pm.


The demo will take place at Old Palace Yard, London SW1P 3JY.


Actions for the day include:

11:00 Thomas Cook workers arrive at Westminster

11:15- 12:15 Workers hand in petitions at Downing Street and the Department of BEIS

12:15 – 13:00 Media briefing with affected workers

13:00 Photocall and rally at Old Palace Yard with MPs

14:00 – 15:00 Lobbying of MPs


The protest is being supported by Unite which represents much of the affected workforce.


The workers who were not paid their monthly wages yesterday (September 30) are angry that they and their company were abandoned by the government.


Many of the workers attending the demonstration are prepared to speak to the media about their personal experiences, which will include problems with rent, mortgage payments and the challenge of buying food without any income.


The workers will be handing in two petitions the first which has in excess of 50,000 signatures at Downing Street which calls on a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses.


The second petition which has in excess of 10,000 signatures, will be handed in at the department of business energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), it calls on secretary of state for business Andrea Leadsom to intervene and make sure the affected workers receive their unpaid wages.


Many of the workers have had to claim universal credit but will not receive any payment until the end of October at the earliest.


The UK government allowed the profitable Thomas Cook airline to collapse into compulsory liquidation, while Thomas Cook’s subsidiaries in Germany, Spain and Scandinavia, were able to continue to fly as they received support from their respective national governments.


Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said, “Unite is pleased to be supporting the lobby and protest in parliament that has been organised by Thomas Cook workers who lost their jobs without warning.


“The fact that workers are coming to parliament from all parts of the UK demonstrates just how angry workers are with the government which they rightly believe has abandoned them,” she said.


“This week workers have been left with no income as their wages were not paid.


“Workers do not understand how the profitable Thomas Cook airline was allowed to collapse while the European subsidiaries were able to continue to fly,” Holland added.


“The very least the Thomas Cook workers deserve, is to receive an answer to the question as to why the company was allowed to collapse as well an explanation from the government as to its lack of action in the lead up.”


Mass meetings

Unite will also be holding mass meetings at Gatwick Airport, in Dundee and in Bristol, following on from a mass meeting last week in Manchester. The meetings are open to both members and non-members and will include information for workers about how to claim unpaid wages, securing redundancy pay and a legal claim called a protected award, for the failure of Thomas Cook to inform and consult its workers before making them redundant.


The meeting will also provide advice on how Thomas Cook’s staff can seek new employment. This will include advice on writing a CV and information on job vacancies with other airlines. Since Thomas Cook’s collapse Unite has been working with other airlines to fast track workers who lost their jobs into vacant positions.


Find out more about each event in the links below:


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