The country's biggest travel union has branded pay cuts at the UK-based Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) "a disgrace".
GTA, a subsidiary of the private equity-owned conglomerate Travelport, says that more than 90 per cent of its 2,400 worldwide workforce have accepted a 5 per cent pay cut, which starts tomorrow and ends on 30 June next year. Travelport, which is owned by Blackstone, asked staff to volunteer for cuts to ward off redundancies.
However, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), the travel union that has some members in GTA, said that companies were using the recession as "an excuse to cut pay".
Jessica Fenn of the TSSA said: "It's a disgrace. People in the travel trade typically make about £12,000 to £13,000 a year and have to make up the rest of their money through targets, so it's already incredibly stressful."
A GTA spokesman said that "a small minority" of staff in the UK had not volunteered to trim their salaries. He added: "We are going through a consultation process to see if we can work with them over this." The spokesman argued that the pay cuts would "protect the livelihoods of employees at GTA". He also said that the company would review the policy in December.