Almost 70% of ex-Thomas Cook Airlines staff are yet to find re-employment more than six weeks after the company collapsed, new research has revealed.
More than 90% of those questioned in an online survey by union Unite have not been able to find new jobs with another airline, with just 10% of impacted workers securing full-time permanent employment of any form.
The study revealed 42% of the 300 workers quizzed had secured interviews in the airline sector but had not be been successful in securing a role.
Unite said the findings tallied with feedback it had been receiving from members in the airline sector.
The union hitting out at airlines for offering recruitment opportunities but only taking very small numbers of recruits, claiming some recruitment events as “little more than PR opportunities”.
Diana Holland, Unite assistant general secretary, said its research “demonstrates the human misery” caused by Cook’s collapse.
“Highly skilled and dedicated workers, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and without warning, are finding it incredibly difficult to return to employment,” she said.
“The struggle of workers to return to employment further highlights both the government’s failure to understand the nature of the Thomas Cook business and a complete absence of political will.
“The airline was extremely profitable and there were already potential buyers interested in the business.”
Holland added that the survey highlighted the need for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to complete its inquiry into Cook’s failure and for the government to implement the recommendations from the Airline Insolvency Review and the Insolvency and Corporate Governance Review “at the earliest possible opportunity”.
“We must take the steps needed to prevent the shocking reality of a viable, profitable airline being forced into compulsory insolvency with the terrible loss of jobs and the major cost of repatriating passengers,” she said.