Around 2,500 jobs are to go at travel firm Thomas Cook – many of which will be cut from the firm's head office in Peterborough.
The job losses, alongside the closure of 200 high street stores, are part of the next phase of a three year transformation plan for the company, which aims to cut costs and reduce financial losses.
The general secretary of TSSA – the union for people in travel and transport, Manuel Cortes, believes cuts aren't the answer.
Grim news from Thomas Cook - 2,500 jobs going as part of restructure - some stores will close. Sources at Thomas Cook insist this is about changing the structure of the business to secure it for future, not the start of its decline: "We're trying to do it in one go."
They're cutting 195 stores from 1,069 - 2,500 staff going down to 13,000 from 15,500. Job cuts are not a massive surprise - £590m losses just before Christmas and new-ish boss making big changes.
Peterborough-based Thomas Cook slumped to a £590 million loss in its last financial year and is working on plans to slash costs.
As well as shutting stores, the UK's second-biggest travel company has trimmed its airline fleet and sold off hotels after it was forced to turn to its banks for an additional £200 million of loans in 2011.
Thomas Cook has entered a 90-consultation with some of its UK employees on a three-year programme to "transform its operations".
The consultation will consider plans to:
- Close 195 high street stores, whilst retaining 874 outlets on British high streets
- Place a number of administrative and managerial roles at risk, at Head Offices in Peterborough and Preston, whilst proposing the closure of its Accrington office
- Change some terms and conditions in order to make further efficiencies, thereby safeguarding additional roles
- Thomas Cook currently employees 15,500 people in the UK and it is anticipated that approximately 2,500 full-time roles will go if the proposed changes go ahead.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland’s CEO, said: “Thomas Cook is a much loved brand that needs to make the proposed changes to secure our future and provide continued employment for many thousands across the UK and better meet the needs of our customers going forward.
"It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company.
“It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people, but we also owe it to our customers to operate efficiently and ensure that when they book their holiday with us our administrative costs are as low as possible.
“We firmly believe these proposals will mean a better – more profitable – Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK and offer the widest range of holidays for travellers and voyagers in the future.
"We are already consulting with our Unions and employee representative bodies to minimise the impact of these changes and I am speaking personally to all employees today to provide information and support through this period of consultation."
Following the announcement by Peterborough-based holiday firm, Thomas Cook, that the company plans to axe 2,500 jobs, the TSSA travel union said it's 'shocked and angry' at the scale of job losses.
– Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA travel union
We are shocked and angry at the scale of the job losses at Thomas Cook which now seems to be engaged in a race to the bottom of the travel market.
The company needs new products if it is to come to terms with the age of the internet and prosper in the 21st century.
Holiday firm Thomas Cook, which is based in Peterborough, today announced plans to axe 2,500 UK jobs and warned of some store closures under a group-wide restructure.