The Co-operative Travel has announced it is to make 90 redundancies with a number of senior roles under threat.
Travel Weekly has confirmed that commercial director Shaun Hinds and Jane Atkins, managing director of Freedom Travel Group and Future Travel, are among the individuals whose posts are at risk.
Other senior roles are also said to be invovled, although the Co-op has not released the full list. Roles currently occupied by distribution director Alistair Rowland and retail distribution director Trevor Davis are known to not be under threat.
The Co-op has stressed that the redundancy programme is unconnected to the proposed retail merger with Thomas Cook currently under review by the Competition Commission. It also said none of its employees in the 400-strong travel agency branch network will be affected.
Mike Greenacre, managing director of The Co-operative Travel, said: “The travel industry has faced difficult trading conditions over the last two years.
“This follows the credit crunch, its impact on the economy, and disruption caused by an exceptional number of travel industry events such as the number of tour operator failures, the Icelandic volcano and the deterioration in consumer confidence caused by the Government’s spending review. This has had a particularly negative impact in recent months.
“We will seek to keep job losses to a minimum, however, I am saddened to confirm that up to 90 posts are potentially affected. This is in an effort to reduce costs, to reflect reduced trading volume, and improve efficiencies through the increased use of technology to bolster our business mix, sales and margin as we seek to strengthen our trading position.
“Our decision follows a comprehensive review of the business, and in no way reflects the commitment, achievements and hard work of our travel colleagues, whose performance has been exemplary in trying to combat these challenges.
“These are tough decisions that we have had to take to protect jobs. I would like to personally thank staff affected by today’s announcement for their service to the business in some cases over many years. Employees have been fully briefed about the restructuring prior to extensive consultations with the trade unions.”
The minimum statutory consultation period for redundancy programmes affecting 90 roles is 30 days.
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