Union to hold mass meeting tomorrow in Crawley of former Thomas Cook workers

A union will hold a meeting tomorrow (October 3) of Thomas Cook workers based at Gatwick Airport who lost their jobs.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 4:12 pm
The closed Thomas Cook branch in Crawley

The meeting is being organised by the Unite union and will be held at the Arora Hotel starting at 9.30am.

Unite has more than 400 Thomas Cook workers who were based at Gatwick airport when the business went into liquidation on September 23. It was the second largest of the company’s hubs behind Manchester. The session will be open to Unite members and non-members.

The session will include information for workers about how to claim unpaid wages and secure redundancy pay. The union says providing assistance on pay issues is particularly urgent as the workers who were made redundant were due to be paid on Monday September 30 but have not been.

Unite says they have now become ordinary creditors of Thomas Cook and it is unclear when they will get paid and if they will only receive a percentage of what is owed to them.

Unite has launched an online petition calling on business secretary Andrea Leadsom to intervene and ensure the workers are paid what they are owed.

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.

Unite regional officer, Jamie Major, said: ““Thomas Cook staff are rightly angry about how they have been treated in being made redundant without warning. Unite will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our members receive every penny they are entitled to.

“Unite is also providing assistance with linking Thomas Cook workers to vacancies at other airlines. This was an excellent high skilled and dedicated workforce, who possess a skills set that other airlines will welcome.”

A statement from the government's Insolvency Service stated: 'Employees who have been made redundant did not receive their September pay packet from Thomas Cook in the normal manner as the company is in liquidation.

'They will need to apply for their arrears of wages and redundancy related payments from the Insolvency Service’s Redundancy Payment Service (RPS). Further information for employees, including how to apply, is available on the website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thomas-cook-information-for-customers-employees-creditors-and-shareholders.

'All payments made by the RPS are subject to statutory limits; if there is any money owed to former employees after these statutory limits are applied, they will be creditors in the liquidation for this.

'As at 2 October, RPS has made payments of £15.69 million to former employees of Thomas Cook.

'On average the Redundancy Payments Service pays redundancy and related claims within 14 days of receipt of information. Special arrangements have been put in place and payments to affected employees commenced on September 27, 2019. RPS will continue to expedite payments as claims are received.'