Thomas Cook cabin crew vote in favour of a strike over changes to breaks

Thomas Cook cabin crew have voted in favour of a strike in a row over health and safety, said the Unite union. [via HR Review]

Thomas Cook cabin crew have voted in support of strike action in a row over rest breaks – placing the threat of disruption over summer holidays.

Cabin crew will be allowed one 20-minute break over 12 hours, according to Unite, Britain’s largest union.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines said:

“We’re disappointed Unite cabin crew members have taken the decision to vote for strike action.

“The safety of both our people and our customers is our top priority and we rigorously adhere to the rules around crew breaks.

“We’re committed to working with Unite to address their concerns and have already met with the conciliation service Acas to try to find a solution.

“Meanwhile, we’ve put together plans to ensure that our customers will still be able to go on holiday, despite any possible strike action.”

The result of the ballot was made public by the Unite union just days after the wider parent company lost almost a fifth of its market value when it admitted summer holiday bookings were five percent down on the previous year.

Unite said 74 percent of those who voted – on a turnout just above 50 percent – backed walkouts over changes to crew breaks, which the union said amounted to a health and safety issue.

Revenues for the first half of the year dipped from £2.74bn to £2.57bn and pre-tax losses fell from £303m to £288m.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said:  “As we look ahead to our busiest period, Thomas Cook is trading well to destinations other than Turkey, with particularly strong bookings to Spain and the USA.”

Image : HR Review

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