Up to 260 Thomas Cook staff could lose their jobs following news the travel giant is to close its Accrington call centre.
Call centre and operational staff working for the company’s Cresta, Tradewinds and Swiss Travel Service brands were told the news on Wednesday afternoon and have entered a 90-day consultation period with the company.
Thomas Cook admitted the decision could result in up to 260 redundancies but said it aimed to retain “as many people as possible” by offering relocation or redeployment opportunities, a limited number of which could be in homeworking.
The news comes on a black day for the UK travel industry in which almost 700 redundancies have been announced. The failure to rescue no-frills business class airline Silverjet has resulted in 420 job losses.
Thomas Cook said the closure was necessary in an “ever-changing and increasingly challenging market” and formed part of its policy to reduce the number of company locations, reduce duplication and cut costs.
The news comes a year on from Thomas Cook’s merger with MyTravel, when the company vowed to save at least £100 million in a major integration and cost-cutting programme. Its integration is largely complete.
Thomas Cook Holidays Division executive director Pete Constanti said: “The proposals we are making are in no way a reflection on our people or their performance. We very much hope many of them will opt to take advantage of our relocation and redeployment opportunities.”
The lease of The Globe Centre in Accrington is due to expire in the near future and the relocation is due to be carried out in phases, completed by the end of this year. Jobs will be consolidated across across Thomas Cook’s Peterborough, Bradford and Brighton offices.
The company said there would no impact on day-to-day business for its scheduled tour operating brands affected by the move.