Thomas Cook Airlines’ UK pilots plan to strike on September 8 in a dispute over pay.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) authorised the strike on Monday following a ballot in which 91% of pilots voted to take action over their pay negotiations. The turnout in the ballot was 88%.

The dispute follows almost eight months of negotiations over a pay rise that was due in April. Thomas Cook has offered a 1.5% rise.

Two days of talks at the arbitration service Acas have seen no progress.

The pilots are due to strike from 3am to 3pm on Friday September 8. Thomas Cook said it is confident it will be able to operate all affected flights.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Disrupting people’s travel plans is the last thing pilots want to do and we very much regret taking this step.

“However, our members are frustrated that after many months of negotiations we still do not have a decent pay offer on the table and they have said loud and clear ‘enough is enough’.

“That is why Balpa has authorised a strike to take place on September 8. In the meantime I will continue trying to negotiate with Thomas Cook to achieve an outcome that will be acceptable to pilots.”

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “Our priority is to minimise disruption to customers’ holidays. We have contingency plans in place which mean we are confident we will be able to operate all of our flights during the planned strike.

“We are working with BALPA’s representatives to find a way forward.”


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