“It must never happen again” – TSSA responds to Thomas Cook enquiry

The TSSA has accused the government of failing travel firm Thomas Cook, its  staff and its customers.

Speaking after the government published its response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee inquiry into Thomas Cook, the union said action speaks louder than words on corporate reform.

In the original findings from its Thomas Cook inquiry (in October 2019), the BEIS Committee expressed disappointment the government had not pressed ahead with audit reforms and brought forward legislation to replace the Financial Reporting Council with the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA).

On a timetable for action on ARGA, the government’s response says, “…to create the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority will follow as soon as Parliamentary time allows.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Corte said: “The BEIS Select Committee is right to say that the government is dragging its feet on corporate reforms. Action has been urgently needed in this area for years. Warm words from government on clawback of directors’ remuneration and bonuses, the need for better diversity of board members, and support for a new regulator, is welcome but they are not prioritising it. This is foolish given how many other companies could be facing administration in the coming months.

“At the end of the day, the government failed Thomas Cook, its staff and customers. By acting too slowly, the government allowed a great British company to go to the wall, when it would have been cheaper to take ownership of it.

“Thousands of Thomas Cook workers lost their jobs and tens of thousands of holidaymakers were left stranded or without holidays to go on. The lacklustre response of the then Business Secretary was woeful, the compensation bill huge and overall lack of care for the company and its staff was scandalous. It must never be allowed to happen again.”

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