S&Ds: The alarming Thomas Cook bankruptcy shows the need for a European legislation that guarantees workers’ and consumers’ rights

Following the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the European Parliament, with the full support of the S&D Group, adopted a joint resolution which calls on the Commission to put forward with urgency a comprehensive legislation that not only guarantees workers’ and consumers’ rights, but also avoids in the future tens of thousands of travelers being left or stranded.

S&D transport committee coordinator, Johan Danielsson, said:

“Thomas Cook’s unfortunate bankruptcy clearly shows the importance of tourism on the economy and also demonstrates the great negative impact on other sectors, mainly the transport sector. For the Socialists and Democrats, the protection of workers’ rights is and remains a crucial factor. We are therefore calling on the Commission to urgently come forward with a comprehensive legislation that guarantees workers’ salaries and retirement benefits in case of insolvencies. We regret that the liberals and conservatives voted against our proposals to strengthen workers’ rights. Once again, it is clear who stands up in defence of people and workers and who instead tries to turn back the clock and downgrade consolidate rights. Fortunately, the attempt by the liberals and conservatives to water down the level of ambition regarding consumers’ rights failed.”

S&D Group spokeswoman on the internal market, Christel Schaldemose, stated:

“The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. We need a coherent and comprehensive approach, which protects all consumers equally. Why does a passenger who booked a whole travel package receive compensation and is repatriated, while a traveler who only booked a flight is left behind? 

“Our priority now is ensuring that none of the affected travelers are left without compensation and workers receive their earned wages and pension benefits. Furthermore, the financial incapacity of a company the size of Thomas Cook affects self-employed individuals and SMEs, as well as providers of services and goods. They need to be supported as well. It is crucial that the consequences of this bankruptcy are contained.