Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Yesterday, Luke joined staff from Thomas Cook and their union, Unite, in a show of solidarity outside Parliament for the 9,000 workers who have lost their jobs after the collapse of Thomas Cook.
Ministers refused to step in and help the company immediately prior to its failure resulting in job losses on every major high street in the country including in Plymouth. Other countries acted differently with the German Government stepping in to save Condor, the German airline owned by Thomas Cook. In comparison, Conservative Ministers let Thomas Cook fail and with it huge loss of jobs.
Holiday protection and airline insolvency matters to Luke. He worked for ABTA – the holiday company trade body for five years. In that time he campaigned for greater protection for holidaymakers, to ensure people who are abroad when a holiday company collapses are brought home and those who have not yet gone on holiday receive refunds.
“I stand in solidarity with all Thomas Cook staff who have lost their jobs. I understand the decision to let Thomas Cook fail was taken in Downing Street. Unlike other countries who stepped in to protect jobs, Boris Johnson let the company fail and allowed 9,000 people to lose their jobs. Many of these Thomas Cook workers are still owed wages. I want to see Ministers act and ensure they’re paid swiftly. Then I want to see Ministers act to introduce proper airline insolvency measures, proper holiday protection and a reform of insolvency rules that allowed Thomas Cook’s accounts to be signed off by auditors, senior executives take millions in bonuses and destroy a 187 year old great British company.”
Luke has asked a series of questions to Ministers about the failure of Thomas Cook including questioning how much the failure will cost. The cost of supporting the company was around £200 million but the cost of repatriation alone is already £100m and thanks to Luke’s question in the Commons, it has now been revealed over £400m is owed in refunds.
Luke’s second ever speech in the Commons was in support of greater holiday protection. You can watch that below.
If you are affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook and live in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport please get in touch.