The government has been urged to step in and help save holiday giant Thomas Cook from going out of business.
It is understood that Thomas Cook has approached the Government in a desperate attempt to plug a gap in its funding, as the threat of administration looms.
The travel company needs to find £200m in extra funds to stop them from folding within a matter of days.
A collapse could leave 150,000 UK holidaymakers stranded.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents workers at the company, said the Government should be ready to assist with “real financial support”.
General Secretary Manuel Cortes called for an urgent meeting with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom.
He said in a letter: “It is incumbent upon the Government to act if required and save this iconic cornerstone of the British high street and the thousands of jobs that go with it.
“Thomas Cook can be a highly successful business and must be given every opportunity to flourish. I urge you to stand ready to assist Thomas Cook with real financial support.
“The company must be rescued no matter what. No British Government in its right mind would countenance the loss of so many jobs and the prospect of just one major travel operator – TUI – controlling the mass market.”
The firm could go bust as soon as Sunday, company sources have allegedly told the Daily Mail, a collapse which would impact approximately 22,000 staff worldwide, 9,000 of which are based in the UK.
“Discussions to agree final terms on the recapitalisation and reorganisation of the company are continuing between the company and a range of stakeholders,” said Thomas Cook in a statement yesterday.