Thomas Cook pilots strike over pay dispute

Pilot in cockpit

Thomas Cook pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) are taking part in a 12-hour strike in a dispute over pay.

The 12-hour strike, which commenced at 3am on Friday 8 September and will end at 3pm, relates to 2017 pay negotiations for the pilots.

The union is calling for a pay increase in line with inflation and a further pay offer to be put forward by the organisation.

On a turnout of 88%, 91% of pilots balloted voted in favour of taking strike action over the pay dispute.

A spokesperson at Thomas Cook Airlines said: “We have set out a fair pay increase of 1.75% in year one and 2.25% increase in year two, on top of automatic pay increases, in what is a very competitive environment. BALPA [has] not moved from [its] demands for a pay rise which adds up to more than 10%, or around £10,000 per pilot. We hope BALPA [comes] back to the table willing to negotiate. We are grateful to our customers for their understanding and to our pilots who are flying today, as well as staff who are working hard to keep the impact of this strike to a minimum. All of our flights so far today have operated without disruption.”

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Brian Strutton, general secretary at BALPA, said: “Thomas Cook pilots have faced pay cuts and slashed terms and conditions and say, ‘enough is enough’. Going on strike is not something pilots take lightly. BALPA members haven’t been on strike since 1974, but with no sensible pay offer on the table, Thomas Cook pilots have had no other option.

“The time has come for Thomas Cook to understand the depth of feeling on this issue, listen to its pilots and come forward with a reasonable offer that they can accept.”