Travel and transport union TSSA said it is seeking an “urgent meeting” with Thomas Cook after the travel giant confirmed it was in talks to sell its tour operating business.

General secretary Manuel Cortes said he is demanding guarantees on jobs.

The call came after Thomas Cook revealed it was in “advanced discussions” with banks and Chinese investment firm Fosun to buy its tour operation for £750 million.

The deal would effectively hand Fosun control of the high street giant. 

Cortes said: “Our members have been having a terrible time over the last few months with all the uncertainty surrounding the future of Thomas Cook and of course, potentially their jobs. 

“We would resist any breakup of Thomas Cook which would be detrimental to jobs but also the High Street as whole.” 

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with Thomas Cook to discuss the latest developments. We need guarantees that our members’ jobs are safe.”

Podcast: What next for Thomas Cook?

Thomas Cook said it was in touch with the TSSA at 8am on Friday morning and provided more information about what had been announced.

It also said it had a “positive” call with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW).

Karen McGill, UK HR director at Thomas Cook, said: “We know that there has been a feeling of uncertainty among our employees over the last few months and from speaking to our colleagues today, the news has brought reassurance for our people across the UK business.”

Thomas Cook said earlier the restructuring plan would salvage the future of the company following a series of profit warnings.

Shares in Thomas Cook have slumped by more than 80% over the past 12 months amid fears that a £1.6 billion debt mountain could threaten its survival.

The new money will provide “sufficient liquidity” to trade through the winter 2019-20 low season “and the financial flexibility to invest in the business for the future”, the company said.

Meanwhile, Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel and tourism analyst at data and analytics firm GlobalData, said: “Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser has confirmed that he is seeking a solution that will allow the company to continue trading in the short-term. Yet the reality is that the CEO had no choice but to consider any deal that was put on the table.

“Ultimately, Thomas Cook is in the position it is because its business model has not majorly evolved since it first began as a typical package holiday tour operator. It has failed to adopt strategies to counter the threat of disruptors such as Airbnb and change is now a necessity for the company to succeed.

“The deal with Fosun will provide at least a stay of execution, providing funds to carry on trading as normal over the winter period, but in the longer term there will be drastic changes.

“If this collaboration is to be truly effective, Fankhauser alongside the rest of the Thomas Cook Group, need to be fully prepared and ready to accept radical change that is ahead. As a modern international investment company, Fosun may encourage Thomas Cook to enhance booking online, causing even more job cuts and future store closures.

“If a deal is struck Thomas Cook will have to let Fosun take the reins, but cultural clashes due to business norms or an overriding strategy could mean the deal causes more problems than it solves.

“Fosun sees value in the traditional tour operator because of its strong brand and global image and is confident of a return on its investment, provided it can impose its preferred operating strategies. On the other hand, Thomas Cook sees the deal as a last chance for the company to remain alive within a highly competitive environment.”