Thomas Cook workers to protest at Parliament as they seek unpaid wages

Thomas Cook's head office in Lynch Wood
Thomas Cook's head office in Lynch Wood
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Thomas Cook workers who lost their jobs after the travel giant’s collapse are to hold a demonstration at Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday).

Former staff from across the country will be rallying in Old Palace Yard alongside MPs after handing in two petitions.

The first, which has in excess of 50,000 signatures, will be handed in at Downing Street and 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 more than 10,000 signatures, will be handed in at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), calls on Secretary of State for Business Andrea Leadsom to intervene and make sure the affected workers receive their unpaid wages.

The protest is being supported by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents much of the affected workforce who did not receive their monthly wages yesterday (Monday).

Unite said many of the workers have had to apply for Universal Credit but will not receive any benefits until the end of October at the earliest due to the time it takes for the first payment to be made.

Thomas Cook’s head office is in Lynch Wood, Peterborough, and more than 1,000 workers in the city lost their jobs after the company collapsed last week.

Unite has criticised the Government for not bailing out the firm.

The union’s 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.

“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.

“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.”