Ballot threat in Thomas Cook row

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The Independent Travel

Cabin crew at Thomas Cook are to be asked if they want to hold an industrial action ballot over redundancy terms, it was announced today.

Unite, which represents around 1,300 cabin crew, said the move followed the breakdown of talks over terms for people losing their jobs.

The cabin crews fly from Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted.

Unite said its negotiators had asked the company to put a "realistic" voluntary severance package on the table, including a lump sum payment of £5,000.

Regional officer Mick Whitley said: "The company was only interested in putting in place the building blocks for voluntary and compulsory redundancies.

"This has left Unite with no other alternative but to suspend the consultation talks and hold a consultative ballot with the Unite membership at Thomas Cook. The ballot will be conducted within the next week to gauge the feeling of our members.

"We are completely against the redundancy terms and any compulsory redundancies purely to make more profit. The group has made £320 million this year and is paying out a fortune in bonuses and dividends, as well as sponsoring the Olympics."

Unite said almost 500 jobs were set to be cut. The union will hold a consultative ballot in the next week before deciding whether to have a full industrial action ballot.