Search

Anxious wait for Thomas Cook staff as 195 high street travel agencies set to close

20:13 06 March 2013

Thomas Cook, Lowestoft

Thomas Cook, Lowestoft

Archant © 2011

Hundreds of Thomas Cook staff across East Anglia are set to learn whether their jobs are to go as the firm gets set to close 195 high street travel agencies and axe administrative staff.

Around 2,500 jobs are to be axed at the holidays group - 16pc of its 15,500 workforce in the UK and Ireland - which will impact workers across its retail network as well as administrative and managerial jobs are also at risk across its head office in Peterborough.

Thomas Cook, which has already closed 168 stores, said the moves were being made as part of a restructuring, and to slash administration costs.

The ailing firm has three stores in Norwich at St Stephens Street, London Street, and Brigg Street, as well as an outlet at the Tesco in Blue Boar Lane. It also two stores in Great Yarmouth, one in King’s Lynn, Diss, Fakenham, and Lowestoft.

When completed the closures mean it will be left with 874 travel agencies across the UK and Northern Ireland.

It will confirm which stores are due to be closed later this week.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents employees, said it was “shocked and angry” at the scale of the job losses.

General secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This constant policy of slash and burn, with the axing of one in four stores and the loss of jobs, is simply self-defeating.”

But Thomas Cook’s recently appointed UK and Ireland chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said the proposals will help return the group to profitability.

Thomas Cook slumped to a £590m 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 £200m of loans in 2011.

Mr Fankhauser said: “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,” he added.

2 comments

  • It is a sign of the times... It's basic logic as we have record levels of part time working... That means lower incomes for less hours worked and therefore less tax paid to the government... It gets worse as lower paid claim low income benefits as well ... the uk is in big financial trouble as balancing the books as government debt increases every month... Is building up a major issue in years to come... You have to ask yourself how can 650 high paid MPs ... can get the uk into so much mess...?.... Have you got the answer to get the uk going...? .. Someone needs to find out and soon... High paid boffins have not a clue... Can we wait another 10 years...?

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

  • Something of a DINASOUR. Travel agent really! Brochures, sales consultants, this is the AMAZON and eBay age. Research online Buy it Now. Move with the time or cease to exist its happened to bigger and better companies than this.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Friday, March 8, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News

Yesterday, 22:30
Firefighters have begun four days of strike action in a dispute over changes to their pension scheme. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Fire and rescue services across the region were called out a number of times tonight, with a 999 service continuing to operate as four days of strike action got underway.

Yesterday, 17:02
Scene of an incident at Station Road, Lingwood involving a train striking the level crossing barriers.

Picture: James Bass

Disruption is continuing after a train crashed at Lingwood station between Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

Yesterday, 15:43
Southwold beach on another warm sunny day in October.
Iona (left) and Isobel Jenkins enjoying the beach.

It has felt more like the height of summer than the end of October today, as unseasonably high temperatures smashed the record for the warmest Halloween in Britain.

Yesterday, 15:00
The Kingfisher bar in Burgh Castle is all set for Halloween

A Burgh Castle bar has been transformed into a ghoulish wonderland in time for a monster Halloween bash.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:02
Scene of an incident at Station Road, Lingwood involving a train striking the level crossing barriers.

Picture: James Bass

Disruption is continuing after a train crashed at Lingwood station between Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:45
Police close the Acle Straight after an accident that left two cars in a water-filled ditch. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fresh calls have been made for improvements to the A47 Acle Straight after a woman died following a tragic crash on the notorious stretch of road.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:45
Peter Nicol, 70, pays £840 to park outside his own home while charity and council workers get the same for free.

A disabled motorist who pays £840 a year to park near his home has been denied any concessions by borough council officers.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:54
norovirus

An outbreak of the winter vomiting bug has closed a ward at a Norfolk hospital.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
The Kingfisher bar in Burgh Castle is all set for Halloween

A Burgh Castle bar has been transformed into a ghoulish wonderland in time for a monster Halloween bash.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 14°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Great Yarmouth Mercury e-edition today E-edition