Thomas Cook staff get the hump


Irish staff facing the loss of their jobs at travel agent Thomas Cook protested with a camel outside the church they believe the company chief attends.

Management has proposed shutting the firm’s three Dublin stores - two Thomas Cook branches and a Direct Holidays outlet - putting 77 jobs under threat.

Five workers from Ireland yesterday stood alongside the camel at the Northampton church believed to be attended by Thomas Cook boss Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

They carried placards with the Biblical warning: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a Rich Man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA)-supported protest was forced to travel to Mr Fontenla-Novoa’s house to hand in a letter as the protesters did not get to see him at the church.

The TSSA said it represented the 46 workers at the two Thomas Cook branches.

In May, the travel company announced it was shutting its High Street operation in Ireland.

Thomas Cook insisted it would maintain its Irish business at its back office and call centre operation in Parkwest, Dublin with 70 positions being retained.

The cuts will not affect operations in Northern Ireland.