BRITISH Thomas Cook staff left jobless after the firm collapsed have hit out at an “insensitive” video of the firm’s German employees celebrating a state bailout.
Jubilant scenes filmed in the Frankfurt office of Condor Airlines, a Thomas Cook subsidiary, showed grinning staff clapping and celebrating a €380million government rescue deal on Tuesday.
The state intervention means the airline can keep operating for at least another six months.
It came as the British government refused to save Thomas Cook in the UK, which collapsed on Monday after failing to secure an extra £200million in funding.
The clip, shared across Thomas Cook employee WhatsApp groups and social media channels, has angered many UK employees who woke up on Monday to find they had lost their jobs.
There are thousands of us grieving the loss of our jobs but it feels like the knife has been twisted after seeing the video.
Former Thomas Cook engineer
An engineer who worked for the firm for five years told The Sun: “There are thousands of us grieving the loss of our jobs but it feels like the knife has been twisted after seeing the video.
“I don’t begrudge the Germans having their livelihoods saved, but it’s a little insensitive to allow a video like that to be shared on WhatsApp like a viral video at a time like this.
“It was inevitable people in the UK would see it.”
Distraught Thomas Cook employees embrace after learning that the firm had collapsed[/caption]
The footage featured a selection of beaming Condor executives including finance boss Ulrich Johannwille, ground operations chief Christian Schmitt and airline boss Christoph Debus.
Dozens of Condor staff applauded the bosses into the office – forming a guard of honour as they made their way in.
Condor has around 4,900 employees and is focused on leisure travel.
It remains profitable but needs government cash to operate over the winter when bookings are lower.
A Condor spokesman said: “As much as we are pleased to be able to continue to fly, we are very much in thoughts of our colleagues in Great Britain, Oberursel and Europe.
“None of us wanted this to happen. Of course we keep our fingers crossed for a good, quick and constructive solution.
“The video was taken immediately after the announcement of the federal government’s decision to grant Condor a guarantee of 380 million euros.
“The joy and relief of the employees and management is absolutely understandable in view of the current situation.”
Founded in 1841 with a local rail excursion in Britain, Thomas Cook runs hotels and resorts, airlines, cruises and hundreds of high street travel agent stores. With 21,000 staff, it operates in 16 countries and serves 19 million customers a year.
What we know so far…
- Thomas Cook has ceased trading after failing to secure a last-ditch rescue deal
- Customers due to fly out of the UK with Thomas Cook today have been told to stay at home
- Thomas Cook planes are heading back to their UK bases and are being grounded
- As many as 9,000 British employees among 21,000 staff around the world stand to lose their jobs
- The largest peacetime repatriation of British citizens – dubbed Operation Matterhorn – will begin in the coming hours
- As many as 150,000 British holidaymakers face uncertainty over how they’ll get home
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the liquidation of Thomas Cook as a “very difficult situation” and vowed his Government would do its “level best” to get Brit holidaymakers home
- Read our Thomas Cook live blog for all the latest news and updates
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