Hardship payments of £300 are being made this week to Thomas Cook members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association from the union’s benevolent fund.
The agreement to make the payouts came after former staff lost their September pay with the collapse of the debt-ridden travel giant last week.
The gesture came with a call for the government to ensure Thomas Cook workers be paid what they are owed “in full and without delay”.
Ahead of attending a meeting of the government’s National Taskforce for Thomas Cook in Manchester yesterday (Wednesday), TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said ministers had a duty to ensure former employees of the company are paid what they are owed after the collapse.
Cortes has called for Leadsom’s resignation after she admitted failing to hold any discussions with Thomas Cook before it went out of business.
Cortes said “We are stressing to the government they must ensure that workers are paid what they are owed in full and without delay.
“This means for the work carried out to the point at which the company went bust – but also redundancy payments and any other entitlements. This is no small beer for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In many cases it will likely amount to several months pay.
“I will be telling ministers and everyone else at the taskforce meeting – the choice is simple – pay up or be sued.”
Cortes added: “I’m pleased to say that not only is our union continuing to fight for Thomas Cook workers by pressing the government, we are also providing support on jobs and training opportunities and we have now made sure a valuable payment goes to each and every member who was employed at Thomas Cook.
“We are doing this because we want to ensure that these workers can buy food and are able to support their families at this difficult time. This is an act of solidarity brought about by the collective strength of our union and shows why everyone should be in a union.
“We have acted to financially assist our members at Thomas Cook – now the government must make sure the liquidators do the same.”
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