Thomas Cook cabin crew vote to strike in health and safety row

The union is in dispute over changes to rest breaks

Wednesday 25 May 2016 14:51
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Staff are in a row over the changes to their breaks
Staff are in a row over the changes to their breaks

Cabin crew staff at travel operator Thomas Cook have voted to strike in a dispute over health and safety, the union Unite has said.

The staff at the tour operator have voted by 3-1 in favour of strike action in a row over changes to rest breaks. Members of the union backed walkouts by 74 per cent with a turnout of just over half.

The vote was called by Unite following concerns from staff over the proposed system, which would see crew given a 20 minute break every 12 hours instead of every six hours, and the impact it could have on in-flight safety.

The union has not released information on possible strike action, saying instead it will be entering into talks with Thomas Cook on Thursday at the conciliation service Acas in a bid to resolve the dispute. Further talks are scheduled for Tuesday next week.

"We hope that the company take note of this strog vote in favour of action and works with us constructively to resolve the dispure and avoid any potential industrial action," Unite's national officer Oliver Richardson said.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook has expressed disappointment at the result of the vote, but said safety remains a top priority for the company.

"We're disappointed Unite cabin crew members have take the decision to vote for strike action," the spokesperson said.

"The safety of both our people and our customers is our top priority and we rigorously adhere to 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," the spokesperson said, adding that the company has "put together plans to ensure that our customers will still be able to go on holiday, despite any possible strike action."

Additional reporting by PA

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