CRISIS-struck THOMAS COOK is axing more than 500 customer service staff in a desperate bid to slash costs.

The package holiday giant yesterday announced plans to close a site in Bradford — and send some roles overseas.

The cuts came a day after UK chief Ian Ailles told an industry conference that the firm needed a clear “consumer facing plan”.

He flew back from the Barbados meeting yesterday but declined to address the staff losing their jobs.

Furious union leaders said employees were paying for years of “mismanagement”. Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA travel union, said last night: “Thomas Cook is largely in the mess it is in because of the mismanagement of former chief executive

Manny Fontenla-Novoa.


“He was paid an astonishing £15million over four years as he drove the company towards the very edge of the cliff. Now hundreds of our members are going to pay the price of that mismanagement with their jobs. It’s a scandal.”

Thomas Cook employs 537 staff in Bradford, handling customer queries, complaints and calls from travel agents.

Some roles will be switched to offices at Falkirk in Scotland, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and Birkenshaw, West Yorks.

Thomas Cook suffered the worst year in its history during 2011 as a wave of profit warnings pushed the business to the brink.

But it was saved last month by a new £1.4billion bank loan. Despite this, chairman Frank Meysman revealed that more job cuts are on the way as the group looks for ways to boost profits.

The firm has already caused an outcry by slashing holiday discounts available to its 19,000 UK staff.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Ailles said: “We’ve made a commitment to improve profitability of the UK business and today’s announcement is part of this.

“We looked at several options as part of our location strategy review and today’s proposal is considered to be the most effective.”

Source: The Sun

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