Out of work Thomas Cook workers protested at the Conservative party conference in Manchester yersterday (Monday).
Some were dressed in their Thomas Cook uniforms and carried banners with messages like: ‘Bankers bailed out, Thomas Cook kicked out’ and ‘Thomas Cook, Europe Flies, UK crashes’.
Workers were due to get their monthly pay that day but the Insolvency Service confirmed they will not be paid and will instead become creditors of Thomas Cook. It is now not clear when they will receive their pay.
Unite regional secretary for the North West Ritchie James said: “Thomas Cook workers feel let down and abandoned by the Government.
“The protest demonstrates to the government and the Conservative party the workers anger over the decisions that have been made and which have wrecked their livelihoods.”
Unite said workers are particularly angry because Thomas Cook airline was allowed to collapse, while subsidiaries in Germany, Scandinavia and Spain were given financial support by their respective governments to safeguard jobs.
Unite national officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson said: “The workers who should have been paid today have received nothing and have to still somehow pay mortgages, rent, bills and food.
“While other European countries acted to preserve airlines, the UK government allowed the entire company to crash.”
Unite said two years since Monarch Airlines went into administration with the loss of 2,000 jobs the government has failed to learn lessons or bring in new laws which could have save the 9,000 jobs lost at Thomas Cook.
It has launched a petition calling on Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy, to make sure Thomas Cook workers get the money they’re owed.
“These are not highly paid workers, many were living pay cheque to pay cheque,” said a spokesman.
“Given the dreadful stress this has caused to workers, the priority, now that repatriation of stranded travelled is underway, must be for the secretary of state to fast track the payment of workers’ wages.”