Thomas Cook : Call for UK to Help staff through EU fund

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution which calls on its 'civil service', the European Commission, to devise comprehensive legislation that would guarantee workers' and consumer rights and avoids tens of thousands of travellers being left stranded.

John is also calling on the UK Secretary of State to apply for EU funding which would help UK staff affected by the tour operator's insolvency in retraining and job-finding.

He told the European Parliament today (Thursday, October 24):

“The collapse of Thomas Cook has had a serious effect on consumers, employees and businesses across Europe. Across South-East England an estimated 21,000 customers are waiting for refunds for their trips, protected by ATOL and EU legislation.”

In his constituency, he said, was Gatwick, the UK’s largest charter airport, and the biggest employer in and around Crawley. More than 500 jobs at the airport were dependent on Thomas Cook.

The resolution highlighted the possibilities provided by the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to assist people who have lost their jobs.

The UK Government should make use of this facility to offer training and assistance to those seeking new jobs. I am writing to the Secretary of State to urge them to do so at the earliest opportunity.”

The resolution was supported by the Socialists and Democrats Groups of which John is a member.

The group's spokeswoman on the internal market Christel Schaldemose said: 

“The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. We need a coherent and comprehensive approach, which protects all consumers equally. Why does a passenger who booked a whole travel package receive compensation and is repatriated while a traveller who only booked a flight is left behind? Our priority now is ensuring that none of the affected travellers is left without compensation and workers receive their earned wages and pension benefits.

She added: “The financial incapacity of a company the size of Thomas Cook affects self-employed individuals and SMEs, as well as providers of services and goods. They need to be supported as well. It is crucial that the consequences of this bankruptcy are contained."