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Thomas Cook pilots’ union confirms strike tomorrow will go ahead following unsuccessful ACAS talks

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has confirmed that despite lengthy talks with Thomas Cook Airlines via ACAS, an agreement is yet to be reached and therefore Saturday’s strike action will go ahead.

Following the previous 12-hour walk out on 8th September – the first UK pilots’ strike in over 40 years – BALPA has been in several days of intensive negotiations with Thomas Cook under the auspices of ACAS.

Pilots are striking over a failure to agree a pay and conditions deal, and there is frustration with the company’s stance during negotiations.

As well as tomorrow’s strike, the pilots’ union has also announced two further 24-hour strike days on 29th September, and 6th October should an agreement not be reached.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Tortuous negotiations at ACAS have failed to resolve the pay dispute between Thomas Cook and BALPA pilots.

“Whilst both sides have compromised there is still a considerable gap. Regrettably this means the strike on Saturday goes ahead.

“We understand this strike will affect people’s travel plans, something which we deeply regret.

“BALPA has given ample warning to enable Thomas Cook to change its schedules and minimise passenger disruption. I have also offered strike dispensations to help out in the hurricane hit Caribbean. Our argument is not with passengers.

“We need Thomas Cook to understand just how resolute pilots are and how frustrated they are with the company.

“We urge the company to come back to the negotiating table with a better offer so this situation can come to an end.”

BALPA has confirmed tomorrow’s strike will be held over 24 hours, from 00.01 to 23.59.

More than 40 flights have been rescheduled.

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