Ian Hart: Just what went wrong at Thomas Cook?
A very sad sight in the town centre on Tuesday evening: in the window of Thomas Cook in the town centre, next to the official notice that the company had ceased trading, a plain A4 sheet, with a handwritten message from all of the staff, thanking the customers for their support over the years.
So what went wrong at Thomas Cook?
In this country alone, including locally, 9,000 honest, hard-working people have lost their jobs.
Should Boris Johnson’s government have stepped in at the 11th hour and come up with the £200million to stave off the closure and helped the company through the winter months?
Many would say no, it’s a business that has to be viable, and would the cash injection merely be putting off the inevitable?
On the flip side, with the cost of getting the stranded holidaymakers home, and then the monies paid in state benefits to the aforementioned 9,000 staff who might not be able to find work initially in the coming months, would the rescue package have been less of an outlay in the long run?
Personally, I’m saddened by the news.
The staff at the Worthing branch were a lovely group of people.
Be it booking some of the most memorable holidays I’ve had or just exchanging currency for a trip, they always did their jobs admirably.
But did the general public?
At times like these, the nation gets dewy-eyed over the loss of another British institution.
But how many of the people sad about the demise of Thomas Cook booked their holidays direct online in the last few years?
My only hope is that behind the scenes a rescue package to save some of the jobs and see the company return in some guise is happening.
Those loyal hardworking staff at the Worthing branch and beyond certainly deserve it.