Thomas Cook Airlines facing summer strike threat

Thomas Cook Airlines facing summer strike threatThomas Cook Airlines is reported to be facing the threat of industrial action this summer in a mounting row with cabin crew.

The company is proposing to reduce the number of cabin crew on its aircraft to the minimum allowed under EU rules.

The Unite union is balloting nearly 1,000 of its members in a consultative ballot for industrial action.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson told The Mirror: “Cabin crew at Thomas Cook are already exhausted and stressed out. Not only do they have a duty of care and do an incredibly important job to keep passengers safe but they are also expected to sell onboard products during flights.

“But now the company wants to cut crew levels even further which threatens to push the crew past breaking point.”

A survey of crew by Unite reportedly found that 74% failed to regularly take their legal entitlement to breaks on flights with normal levels last summer.

The minimum number of crew on flights depends on the aircraft. On an aircraft carrying 235 passengers there are five crew, while on an aircraft with 180 passengers there are four.

Cook wants to reduce the numbers of crew members by one, according to Unite.

The union says crew will still be expected to hit the same onboard sales targets as last year, but with fewer staff.

A Thomas Cook Airlines spokesman told the newspaper: “We’ve worked with our crew on implementing industry standard levels on board.

“The proposal will be introduced by adjusting seasonal recruitment and through natural attrition.

“Most short and medium-haul airlines across Europe operate with standard operating crew. Our proposal is completely in line with the Civil Aviation Authority requirements.”

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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