Two thirds (67%) of former Thomas Cook Airlines staff have not secured any form of employment six weeks after the company collapsed, according to a new poll.

In total 93% of respondents to the survey by the Unite union have not yet found work with another airline.

Just 10% of the affected workforce have secured full-time permanent employment of any form.

More than 300 Unite members took part in the online survey.

The study found that 42% secured interviews in the airline sector but this hasn’t been transformed into jobs.

Unite said this tallies with feedback from members that there have been very few job opportunities in the airline industry, with companies only taking very small numbers of recruits, with the feeling recruitment campaigns were “little more than PR opportunities.”

Of members who have applied for universal credit just 19% have received a payment.

Those who have still received nothing report a “litany of problems” including being wrongly advised about what to apply for and being penalised and having to restart the process due to receiving redundancy pay and notice pay, Unite said.

This has further increased hardship as following a Universal Credit interview there is a five week delay before benefits are paid.

Unite was the union at Thomas Cook Airlines alongside pilots union Balpa.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “The survey demonstrates the human misery caused by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

“Highly skilled and dedicated workers, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and without warning are finding it incredibly difficult to return to employment

“The struggle of workers to return to employment further highlights both the government’s failure to understand the nature of the Thomas Cook business and a complete absence of political will.

“The airline was extremely profitable and there were already potential buyers, interested in the business.

“This survey highlights the need for the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee to complete its inquiry into Thomas Cook and for the recommendations from the Airline Insolvency Review and the Insolvency and Corporate Governance Review to be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity.

“We must take the steps needed to prevent the shocking reality of a viable profitable airline being forced into compulsory insolvency with the terrible loss of jobs and the major cost of repatriating passengers.”


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