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Loss of jobs a blow city can ill afford
The news that Thomas Cook is to close its Bradford operations centre is a massive blow.
Not only for building confidence in the regeneration of the city centre, of course, but for the 468 jobs that will be lost.
This is a devastating loss of jobs that Bradford can ill afford, and our thoughts must go out to those who have the threat of redundancy hanging over them at a time when the economy is in recession and prospects are tough.
Thomas Cook has long been a major employer in Bradford, and to think that its relatively mighty workforce of 537 will be reduced to just 69 – who will be transferred out of the city centre to Birkenshaw – is dismaying to say the least.
The signs have been there, of course: shareholders were warned earlier this year that failure to back the disposal of part of its aircraft fleet and five Spanish hotels could lead to the firm going into administration.
But that will be scant comfort to those who were yesterday afternoon given the shocking news that the majority of the jobs will be lost from the end of this year.
All agencies in Bradford must now work together to try to soften the blow as much as possible by giving those facing redundancy as much help to get back into work as quickly as possible.
And urgent talks must be sought with Thomas Cook to ensure that all is really being done to redeploy staff and to find out what will become of the building the firm occupies in Aldermanbury – because the last thing Bradford needs is another empty edifice.