Lifeline for affected Thomas Cook staff

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Thomas Cook
Plans to support Thomas Cook staff affected by the collapse of the travel company have been drawn up by Greater Manchester authorities.

Roughly 3,000 people were working for Thomas Cook in the city-region, with more than 900 cabin crew helping 2.8m travellers through Manchester Airport each year.

From tomorrow, affected staff will be able to access advice and support via a single web portal.

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A taskforce featuring trades unions, Jobcentre Plus, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority, local authorities and others has been set up within 24 hours of the business’s failure, signposting affected people to advice and support with the stated aim of assisting employees retrain or find new opportunities as soon as possible.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “My heart goes out to all those affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

“I have been at the airport today meeting staff representatives and I know this news has hit them very hard, leaving them without a job and in many cases three weeks’ pay.

“But we need to give people more than just warm words, which is why we have been working hard today to put in place practical support.

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“The Greater Manchester family has been swift to respond and it’s good that a website and contact telephone number have been established where staff can log on, register and access practical support and information when it comes to next steps.”

The taskforce is currently working with Manchester Airport Group and other airlines to establish the current number of job vacancies, with discussions ongoing around a possible jobs fair for employees.

For advice and support visit and any queries can be sent to [email protected].

Wiganers affected by the Thomas Cook collapse are being urged to read guidance released by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

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The charity network has published advice for employees and customers across Greater Manchester.

Rachel Howley, from Citizens Advice Greater Manchester, said: “The collapse of Thomas Cook is clearly a worrying time for its customers and its staff.

Holidaymakers will no longer be able to travel with the company - but you might be able to get a refund depending on what and how you booked.

“If your holiday booking is ATOL protected then the Civil Aviation Authority will arrange a refund.

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“For people who have booked their holidays independently, you’ll need to contact any other companies you’ve made any bookings with - hotels, transfers etc - as you’ll still be liable for those bookings. Check the terms and conditions to see if you can cancel without being charged.

“If your booking isn’t ATOL protected you might be able to get money back through your insurance, credit or debit card issuer or through PayPal. Other elements of your holiday which you booked independently and can still be provided, won’t be covered by these payment schemes but you could check with your insurance provider.

“Staff who work for Thomas Cook need to make sure they seek independent information and advice on their situation. The Government have issued advice about claiming money owed.

“Anyone wanting to seek advice can contact their local Citizens Advice directly. Information on their local Citizens Advice can be found on the website here.”