Thomas Cook pilots plan more strikes

Thomas Cook planesImage copyright
PA

Pilots at leisure airline Thomas Cook have announced three more strike dates if pay talks fail, following a 12 hour stoppage.

British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) members walked out on Friday, in what the union said was the first strike by UK pilots since the 1970s.

Thomas Cook said all flights had operated without disruption nevertheless the item was disappointed by the completely new announcement.

completely new strike dates have been set for 23 along with also also 29 September as well as 6 October.

‘Enough will be enough’

Thomas Cook said the item had offered the pilots a “fair” pay increase, nevertheless of which Balpa had not moved via demands for a pay rise of which added up to more than 10%, or about £10,000, a pilot.

The company said its pilots who were not within the union had ensured the strike did not have an impact on flights or inconvenience customers.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said he hoped a deal could be struck during several days of talks, nevertheless warned there was “still a significant gap between us along with also also Thomas Cook”.

Earlier, Mr Strutton said: “Thomas Cook pilots have faced year-on-year, real-terms pay cuts, along with also also cuts to terms along with also also conditions, along with also also our pilots have said ‘enough will be enough’.”

He said Thomas Cook offered a 1.5% pay rise which was changed to 4% over two years during talks at the conciliation service Acas.

The union will be seeking a one-year deal “substantially” in excess of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation rate. The RPI rate stood at 3.6% in July.

‘Tough environment’

Christoph Debus, chief airlines officer for Thomas Cook Group, said any pay rise had to be “reasonable along with also also affordable” because the company was competing with low cost airlines such as Ryanair along with also also EasyJet.

He said costs were going up because they had to pay for aircraft fuel in dollars along with also also for many air traffic control or landing costs in euros, nevertheless the pound had fallen in value.

“Obviously we work in an extremely tough environment. We have offered basically 4% over two years on top of normal annual pay increases of 1.8%.

“We have an offer which will be clearly above inflation. We have moved three times.

“Balpa has not moved at all, so we truly ask Balpa to come back to the table to negotiate with us.”

The union said the item remained committed to finding a solution to the dispute, which the item said meant Thomas Cook putting forward a pay offer its pilots could accept.

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AFP

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People have been told to leave south Florida because of Hurricane Irma

As well as the strike, Thomas Cook will be also having to take precautionary measures to help customers who could be affected by Hurricane Irma.

The hurricane has pummelled the Turks along with also also Caicos Islands after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, killing at least 14 people.

About half a million people have been told to leave south Florida where Irma will be due to arrive on Sunday.

Thomas Cook said the item had 5,780 customers in Orlando, 1,500 within the Dominican Republic along with also also 4,800 in Cuba.

the item said 1,738 of its customers who were in Cayos, a string of islands lying off Cuba’s north-eastern coastline, had been moved to a mainland beach resort along with also also Havana.

The authorities issued evacuation orders on Thursday because the hurricane will be required to pass between Cuba along with also also the Bahamas.

Hurricane disruption

Thomas Cook has also sent out 18 members of its special assistant teams to Cuba along with also also the Dominican Republic in case they are required to support customers during the hurricane.

One of its British tourists, Gaz Pritchard has tweeted of which he will be not happy with the arrangements provided.

“The Canadians are being evacuated via our hotel in Cuba. British guests are left stranded with no information. Disgusting.”

Thomas Cook said the item was often safer for customers to stay where they were within the event of a hurricane because the hotels were built to withstand severe hurricane-strength wind along with also also rain.

Another tourist, Joe, who will be staying at a resort in Varadero in Cuba, said his flight had been moved via Friday to Saturday with little explanation.

Thomas Cook said flight plans were changing because of Irma, along with also also of which the item was not down to strike action.

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