11 Sep 2017

Thomas Cook Pilots Strike Over Wages

Thomas Cook Plane Taking Off

Thomas Cook pilots went on strike last Friday in the first British pilot’s strike in 40 years. The pilots walked out at 3 a.m. after the airline failed to obtain a court injunction to stop them.

The British Airline Pilots Association union (BALPA) said that the action had been taken ‘extremely reluctantly.’

BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Thomas Cook pilots have faced year-on-year, real-terms pay cuts, and cuts to terms and conditions, and our pilots have said ‘enough is enough’.

“We have, however, kept this action to a minimum – just 12 hours. Thomas Cook have stated that all of its flights will operate – we hope that this is true, as Thomas Cook’s customers are not to blame for this action.”

“The time has come for Thomas Cook to understand the depth of feeling on this issue, listen to its pilots and come forward with a reasonable offer that they can accept,” he added.

Thomas Cook offered the pilots a 4% pay rise over 2 years, but the union have been pushing for a one-year deal in excess of the 3.6% RPI inflation rate, which was 3.6% in July.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: “We have set out a fair pay increase of 1.75%in year one and 2.25% increase in year two, on top of automatic pay increases, in what is a very competitive environment.

“BALPA have not moved from their demands for a pay rise which adds up to more than 10 per cent, or around £10,000 per pilot.

“We hope BALPA come back to the table willing to negotiate.

“We are grateful to our customers for their understanding and to our pilots who are flying today, as well as staff who are working hard to keep the impact of this strike to a minimum.

“All of our flights so far today have operated without disruption.”

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