The government “must step in to help Thomas Cook”, two unions have argued.
Manuel Corte, general secretary of the TSSA – which has members from both Cook high street stores and head office, claimed the company, which is in the process of trying to secure a rescue deal led by largest shareholder Chinese travel giant Fosun, should be rescued “no matter what”.
Creditor banks have issued a last-minute demand that the travel company find an extra £200 million.
“Our members are going through a time of great stress and worry over their futures,” said Cortes.
“We will, of course, do all we can to help – but what’s needed now is clarity about the future of the company.
“Thomas Cook must be rescued no matter what.
“This is not just about the threat of losing jobs and an iconic brand from our high streets, but the fact that if Thomas Cook goes under, we will be left with just one major travel operator – Tui – controlling the mass market.
“That would be in no one’s interests – a lack of competition will always lead to a hike in prices. If need be the government must step in to ensure Thomas Cook’s survival.”
Balpa’s Brian Strutton added: “It is appalling that banks that owe their very existence to handouts from the British taxpayer show no allegiance to a great British company, Thomas Cook, when it needs help.
“This puts 9,000 good-quality UK jobs needlessly at risk and puts an iconic British brand in jeopardy.
“The government has a say in this, owning one of the key banks and still with huge influence over the other.
“If Thomas Cook goes into administration it will cost the taxpayer as much to repatriate holidaymakers as it would cost to save Thomas Cook.”