Leeds & West Yorkshire

Thomas Cook cuts Bradford office jobs

Hundreds of jobs are to be cut at travel agent Thomas Cook's administration centre in Bradford.

The company said the centre would close in March 2013 with the loss of 537 roles.

A spokesman said 468 people were at risk of redundancy and 69 jobs would transfer to nearby Birkenshaw.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association union blamed what it called "mismanagement" for the cuts, which it described as "a scandal".

Thomas Cook said 244 of the roles could potentially be relocated to its other centres at Preston, Falkirk and Peterborough.

The company currently employs 537 people at Bradford, 252 at Falkirk, 113 at Birkenshaw, 434 at Peterborough and about 600 at Preston.

'Dreadful news'

In a statement, Thomas Cook said it had "made a commitment to improve the profitability of the UK business and the announcement was part of this".

It added: "But what is also key to these proposed changes is the improved service level that will result for our customers.

"We looked at several options as part of our location strategy review and [the] proposal is considered to be the most effective.

"I'd like to thank our colleagues in our Bradford site for their professionalism as we now enter a period of consultation."

David Green, leader of Bradford Council, described the job losses as "dreadful news".

"Everyone has known the travel business generally, and the company, had been going through difficult times, but this is still a shock."

Mr Green added that he was "disappointed" the company had not contacted the council about the job losses before the announcement.

An urgent meeting was being sought by the council to discuss how best to help employees facing redundancy, he said.

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