Monday 23 September 2019 / 1:13 PM Gill Furniss / Press Releases

Thomas Cook’s failing bosses must lose their bonuses – Gill Furniss

Thomas Cook’s failing bosses must lose their bonuses

 

In a letter sent today to Andrea Leadsom, Gill Furniss MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, has:

 

  • Called on the Tories to join Labour’s call for Thomas Cook’s failing bosses to reject their bonuses.
  • Criticised the government for its reckless refusal to save staff and customers from misery by taking an equity stake in Thomas Cook.
  • And demanded the government finally begins its long delayed airline insolvency review.

 

In the letter, Gill Furniss MP writes:

 

“The government should have averted this crisis by taking an equity stake, and saving the company from collapse. Why did you refuse to act to prevent job losses on such a huge scale and why did you not protect British holidaymakers abroad?

 

“The human cost of your reckless inaction cannot be exaggerated. The stress and misery of staff whose jobs and incomes are threatened, whose whole families will be worrying about how they will pay their bills; the way people’s holidays have been ruined by anxiety and chaos – these are the government’s responsibility.

 

“The government announced an airline insolvency review in 2017, but failed to do anything about it – no doubt because government has been paralysed by your party’s infighting. That review could have helped avert the Thomas Cook crisis. Will a minister announce swiftly when it will begin?

 

“Adding to the government’s inaction are the many failures of management. Will you now immediately join me in demanding that Thomas Cook’s failing bosses reject their bonuses?”

 

Ends

 

Notes to editors

 

The full text of the letter is below:

 

Minister,

 

I am writing in relation to the news that Thomas Cook has gone into administration. The company has been a bedrock for British holidaymakers and a feature on high streets across this country for generations.

 

This morning thousands of Thomas Cook employees were confronted with the extremely worrying news that they no longer had a job. Similarly, thousands of employees of hotels and suppliers around the world are now left with deep uncertainty about their futures.

 

It is vital the government fully cooperates with trade unions to ensure every effort is made to support workers at this difficult time. Will you immediately publish detailed plans for ensuring every available support is offered to Thomas Cook employees?

 

The best option to secure the company’s future would have been for the government to take an equity stake in order to facilitate a rescue deal. The government would rather that £600 million were forked out for compensation and repatriation – rather than, as previously agreed, rescuing Thomas Cook with £200 million. That tells you everything you need to know about how much the Tories care about workers.

 

Consumers need to be better aware of their rights. What new steps have you taken to ensure that this is the case? What advice are they being given if they are concerned about what will happen in the next few days? Furthermore, what discussions have you had with the company regarding compensation for those whose travel has been disrupted as a result of the events in recent days?

 

Given the previous government ownership of Thomas Cook, intervention of this type would have been an appropriate and proportionate step to protect this much-loved brand, its hard-working staff and its many customers. The government should have averted this crisis by taking an equity stake, and saving the company from collapse.

 

The government must now answer to the public, Thomas Cook employees and customers: why did you refuse to act to prevent 9,000 job losses and why did you not protect British holidaymakers abroad?

 

The human cost of your reckless inaction cannot be exaggerated. The stress and misery of staff whose jobs and incomes are threatened, whose whole families will be worrying about how they will pay their bills; the way people’s holidays have been ruined by anxiety and chaos – these are the government’s responsibility.

 

The government announced an airline insolvency review in 2017, but failed to do anything about it – no doubt because government has been paralysed by your party’s infighting. That review could have helped avert the Thomas Cook crisis. Will a minister announce swiftly when it will begin?

 

Adding to the government’s inaction are the many failures of management. Will you now immediately join me in demanding that Thomas Cook’s failing bosses reject their bonuses?

 

In normal times, we would be putting these questions to you in the House of Commons but the undemocratic prorogation of Parliament has prevented parliamentarians from representing the people by raising this vital issue.

 

I hope you will respond swiftly to the points raised.

 

Gill Furniss MP, Shadow Business Minister