Jobs set to go in Thomas Cook and Co-op Travel restructure

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BRANCHES of travel agents Thomas Cook and Co-op Travel across our region could be at threat as the firm prepares to axe 1,000 jobs.

Shopworkers’ Union Usdaw will meet with the holiday firm after the company announced proposals to further reorganise its UK business.

Usdaw represents more than 1,200 members in the former Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-op Travel businesses, which joined with Thomas Cook to create a joint venture in 2010.

The business is proposing to close 119 of the Co-operative stores, as well as 76 Thomas Cook stores.

The firm is also proposing to close its call centre in Accrington, and will be changing the management structure in branches, by replacing store managers with cluster managers and removing a layer of management in larger branches.

National officer Sharon Ainsworth said: “We were well aware of the challenges that Thomas Cook have been facing in turning their UK business around, but the scale and severity of these redundancies will come as a real shock to our members.

“We will be using the 90-day consultation period to urge the business to look at every possible alternative to redundancy for these hardworking staff.

“Many of our members are long-serving and I believe they have a lot to offer Thomas Cook in helping the business to build a successful future.

“Even those who are not at risk of redundancy are facing the prospect of cuts to their benefits packages, following a number of cost-cutting proposals which the business has put forward. We will be examining these proposals closely and will defend our members’ interests throughout this uncertain time.

“We will be doing all we can to support all of our members during the difficult weeks and months ahead.”