Thomas Cook Airlines pilots are to strike on Friday September 8 in an escalation of a pay dispute.
Pilots’ union BALPA has authorised the stoppage between the hours of 3am and 3pm following a ballot in which 91% of pilots voted to take action in a dispute over their 2017 pay negotiations. The turnout in the ballot was 88%.
The dispute follows nearly eight months of negotiations over a pay rise due in April. Thomas Cook has offered a 1.5% increase, but BALPA has asked for at least inflation plus ‘catch up’ with other comparable airlines and better travel concessions. Two days of talks have taken place at ACAS but with no progress so far.
BALPA said the action “will affect Thomas Cook UK operations”.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Disrupting people’s travel plans is the last thing pilots want to do and we very much regret taking this step. However, our members are frustrated that after many months of negotiations we still do not have a decent pay offer on the table and they have said loud and clear ‘enough is enough’.
“That is why BALPA has authorised a strike to take place on 8th September. In the meantime I will continue trying to negotiate with Thomas Cook to achieve an outcome that will be acceptable to pilots.”
The dispute only affects the airline’s UK operation, meaning that it may be able to use aircraft from its European fleet in order to operate its schedules on September 8.
Thomas Cook has been contacted for comment.