Union leader attacks Government for failing to save Peterborough's Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook which has collapsed despite a weekend of intensive talks with creditors.
Thomas Cook which has collapsed despite a weekend of intensive talks with creditors.
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A travel union boss has blamed the Government for failing to save Peterborough's Thomas Cook.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hit out at the Government for failing to intervene during a weekend of intensive talks to find a solution to Thomas Cooks' financial woes.

A little over two months ago, Thomas Cook, which had revealed a £1.5 billion loss, announced it was in talks with the Chinese firm Fosun and the travel operator's core lending banks and creditors to agree a £900 million rescue package.

The deal was to be agreed later this week but last Friday two of its leading banks, RBS and Lloyds, demanded a further £200 million needed to be found to ensure Thomas Cook's survival through next year.

Despite a weekend during which 'every avenue was explored' to try and save the company, which employs 1,000 people in Peterborough, and 21,000 plus worldwide, a solution could not be found and the company was put into compulsory administration.

TSSA – which has members at Thomas Cook both in high street shops across the UK and in its office operations - had called for immediate Government intervention to secure the future of the firm.

Cortes said: “Administration need not have happened – the Government had been given ample opportunity to step in and help Thomas Cook but has instead chosen ideological dogma over saving thousands of jobs.

“That they would rather hang our members out to dry instead of rescuing Thomas Cook is shameful and wrongheaded.

“There remains the question of repatriating 150,000 British holidaymakers and the cost to the public purse of doing so.

"You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know it would have been cheaper and more cost effective to save what is a cornerstone of the British high street.

“Our union is still urgently seeking meetings with Government to discuss exactly what happens next and will not give up the fight for jobs. But clearly Tory Ministers should hang their heads in shame over their inaction.”

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