Former Thomas Cook workers could get bumper payout in dispute over job losses

Up to 1,500 former Thomas Cook employees are pending a ruling by the labor court for the award of thousands of pounds each, their union has announced.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association said a decision on the travel company’s failure to provide advice prior to layoffs meant former employees could charge up to £ 4,200 from bankruptcy services each.

The union said there was no prior warning or consultation before Thomas Cook went into liquidation in September 2019. Around 1,500 employees in their bases in London, Manchester and Peterborough lost their jobs.

Thomas Cook should have started the consultation process with the TSSA at least 45 days before the layoff, but the workers were laid off with immediate effect, the union said.

A tribunal has granted each affected employee a maximum of 90 days’ wages, the TSSA said.

Secretary General Manuel Cortes said: “I am very pleased to have our members and all those who have failed both from Thomas Cook and the government. Our union has fought all the way for our members at Thomas Cook, and this verdict shows that we are justified.

“Our members have been treated harshly from the start, not only by the actions of the company but also by a government that did not step in to save this cornerstone of our main roads when it made perfect sense to do so.”

Daniel Kindell, a partner at the Morrish law firm who helped with the case, said: “Unfortunately, I see failure to consult in the event of bankruptcy and employees are unemployed in no time at all.

“Such an approach should not go unchallenged. I hope the tribunal’s decision gives former Thomas Cook employees a sense of justice. “

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