24Hr emergency line +44 (0)20 8476 4099
Join Balpa

Thomas Cook pilot strike to go ahead as High Court challenge fails

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has successfully defended in the High Court the right of Thomas Cook pilots to take strike action, which is due begin at 0300 on Friday 8th September.

Thomas Cook attempted to get a High Court injunction to prevent our members from striking, but the judge rejected their case, ordered BALPA’s costs to be paid, and declined permission for Thomas Cook to appeal.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“BALPA has always been confident in the decisive ballot result and was disappointed that Thomas Cook decided to challenge it legally rather than spending time and effort bringing an acceptable offer to the table. However, we robustly defended our right to strike and the judge rejected Thomas Cook’s arguments about the wording of the ballot paper.

“The strike is due to begin at 0300 on Friday 8th September until 1500 the same day.

“We have taken this course of action extremely reluctantly, but with no sensible pay offer on the table, we have no other option. Thomas Cook pilots have faced year-on-year, real-terms pay cuts, and cuts to terms and conditions, and our pilots have said ‘enough is enough.’

“We have, however, kept this action to a minimum – just 12 hours. Thomas Cook have stated that ‘all of [Thomas Cook’s] flights on 8th September will operate.’ We hope that this is true, as Thomas Cook’s customers are not to blame for this action, but we also believe that if Thomas Cook had spent time negotiating rather than rearranging schedules, this action may well have been unnecessary.

“We remain committed to finding a solution to this dispute which will mean Thomas Cook putting forward a pay offer that their pilots can accept.”

The turnout in the ballot was 88% with 91% of pilots voting to take action in a dispute over their 2017 pay negotiations.