(METRO-UK) — Furious Thomas Cook staff slammed their ‘greedy bosses’ after learning colleagues have been forced to use food banks since the company’s dramatic collapse on Monday.
Many are still waiting for seven weeks worth of pay and are seething at bosses for awarding themselves £50 million in bonuses as the world’s oldest travel firm struggled to survive.
Hundreds of former employees met union reps at Manchester Airport yesterday in a bid to recover the thousands they have lost in unpaid wages.
But they’ve been warned not to expect any money on Monday – when they are due to be paid.
Senior management are expected to be probed on allegations they funnelled millions from the UK arm of the airline to stop German subsidiary Condor from going down, right before Thomas Cook went into liquidation.
The 178-year-old company employed 20,000 people, 9,000 of whom are from the UK, and had around 600 high street stores.
Labour Commons Treasury committee member Wes Streeting said: ‘Serious questions need to be asked not just of the latest crop of bosses but the former executives whose actions may have led to this catastrophe for Thomas Cook staff and customers.’
Yesterday Unite officials warned a group of more than 400 cabin crew they were unlikely to get any wages this month and will have to wait a long time for redundancy pay.
Lawyers encouraged them to join 100 colleagues who have agreed to take Thomas Cook to employment tribunals, the Daily Mail reported.
They say employees could be entitled to 90 days’ pay as compensation because Thomas Cook unlawfully failed to keep them in the loop about the company’s difficulties.
During the meeting tearful staff criticised the ‘disgusting’ actions of bosses and said they were ‘stealing our children’s futures’.
They said they were worried sick about paying off their mortgages, were using charity food vouchers and were turning to friends for financial assistance.
Cabin manager Mike Kilburn, 47, who served the company for 19 years, demanded directors hand back their bonuses ‘so that money can be distributed to everyone here’.
He added: ‘It’s sickening they were taking that amount out of the firm – in my mind they are crooks.’
Laura Tremarco, 39, also a cabin manager who worked for Thomas Cook for 22 years, said she was due a £3,000 commission on Monday but wont see a penny.
Unite’s Mike Gaskell said: ‘We’ve seen film star wages being taken out of a business for what ultimately was failure. People have a right to be angry.’