Thomas Cook Closes Bradford Contact Centre

Thomas Cook the package holiday giant announced this week that hundreds of jobs will be axed at its Bradford contact centre.

The ailing firm said 537 people are employed at the Bradford office but stressed that some roles would be relocated within the business.

Bosses told staff about the closure on Wednesday, June 13. The office will close in March next year leading to the loss of 468 jobs.

Unions have branded the move as a ‘scandal’ and blamed the job losses on the former chief executive.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA travel union, said: “Thomas Cook is largely in the mess it is because of the mismanagement of former chief executive, Manny Fontenela, who was paid an astonishing £15 million for driving the company towards the very edge of the cliff.

“Now hundreds of our members are going to pay the price of that mismanagement with their jobs while he has riden off into the sunset with all the loot. It is a scandal.”

The 170-year old company already caused an outcry by slashing holiday discounts available to its UK staff.

Ian Ailles, CEO mainstream at Thomas Cook UK & Ireland said, “Thomas Cook is one of the largest employers in the travel industry, with 19,000 people working across the UK business. As part of the previously announced UK turnaround, we have regrettably today advised colleagues in our Bradford office that we’re proposing to close it by March next year, relocating some roles to our other UK sites in Birkenshaw (near Bradford), Peterborough and Falkirk.

“We’ve made a commitment to improve the profitability of the UK business and today’s announcement is part of this, but what is also key to these proposed changes is the improved service level that will result for our customers. We looked at several options as part of our location strategy review and today’s proposal is considered to be the most effective. I’d like to thank our colleagues in our Bradford site for their professionalism as we now enter a period of consultation.”

Thomas Cook suffered the worst year in its history during 2011 as a wave of profit warnings forced the business to ask for financial help.

via Asian Sunday (Free Bradford-based newspaper)