Thomas Cook Cabin Crew Strike Looms

The threat of a strike by Thomas Cook cabin crew, including those flying from Stansted Airport, over job losses has come closer after they signalled support for industrial action.

Members of the Unite union voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot that they would take industrial action over the company's plans to axe almost 500 jobs.

Officials at the union, which has 1,500 cabin crew members at the company, will meet on Wednesday to decide their next move, which could be a full industrial action ballot.

Regional officer Mick Whitley said: "The overwhelming vote shows our members' anger and should be a strong wake-up call for the management to return to the negotiating table with a fair offer.

"Until we have had the meeting tomorrow (Wednesday 26th), Unite is not going to speculate about Christmas flights by Thomas Cook.

"The ball is very much in the management's court - they need to come up with a realistic offer for those facing redundancy. They are a very profitable firm."

Unite said 475 cabin crew voted in favour of industrial action, with 53 against.

The crews fly from Stansted, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle  Airports.

Unite said it had asked the company to offer a "realistic"voluntary severance package, including a minimum of three weeks' pay per year of service, plus a lump sum payment of £5,000.