WORKERS at the Accrington branch of a national tour operator face an anxious wait after the announcement that it could be shedding hundreds of jobs.
MyTravel, which has a 478-strong workforce based in Accrington's Globe Centre, this week announced that it is aiming to reduce costs as it struggles to compete in difficult market conditions.
The company, formally Airtours, which currently employs 15,000 staff in the UK, said that financial difficulties could result in the loss of 700 UK jobs but has so far been unable to confirm if the axe will fall on Accrington.
Hyndburn's MP Greg Pope said: "I haven't been contacted or consulted about this but I'll be taking it up with the company to try to ensure none of my constituents lose their jobs.''
Staff at Accrington remain hopeful they will be spared any cuts as the local branch of the business, a call centre and headquarters of the Tradewind brand, is largely profitable.
In a statement, company bosses said: "MyTravel will be entering into a consultation period with employees which, unless savings can be achieved by alternative means, may result in up to 700 redundancies from its UK businesses. The decision to enter into a consultation period has been taken against a background of market conditions which continue to be difficult and uncertain.
"This is in addition to other efforts which the company is making to reduce costs, including a programme to reduce charter capacity with a view to adjusting its cost base to better reflect current market conditions."
The GMB union, which has members in the Accrington centre, has expressed its concern and will be visiting the site next week to give information and advice to staff.
North West official Neil Holden said: "We have not got union recognition with the company but we have members within MyTravel and we have members in Accrington. We are very concerned and we will be visiting all of the North West sites next week, handing out information to staff.
"What we are saying to our members is if they have a grievance over the way they have been treated contact us and if they are selected for redundancy contact us. Those who are not in a union need to be in a union."
The company reported huge losses of £72.8m for the 12 months to September last year, which led to the departure of most of its senior management team.