Birmingham Airport strikes announced with planes ‘to be grounded in August’, union claims
Strike action is set to go ahead this month, with flights set to be affected, a leading union has said.
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Unite the Union has announced strike action at Birmingham Airport in August.
Refuelling tanker drivers and operators employed at the airport are set to strike over pay.
The workers, who refuel over three quarters of planes at the airport, have rejected a nine per cent pay offer. The union says this is a real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 10.7 per cent.
All-out indefinite strike action, which was due to begin last month, was suspended. The union said that was “an act of goodwill” to allow Unite’s members to be balloted on the new offer. But the union says that all out indefinite strike action will now begin on Tuesday, 15 August leading to ‘cancelled flights’.
Birmingham Airport airlines include TUI, easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Emirates.
The union has claimed that the strikes would cause the ‘majority of Birmingham airport planes to be grounded in August’.
But a spokesman for Birmingham Airport has said the airport does not anticipate any flight cancellations in August due to strikes. A statement from BHX, read: “Fuellers at Birmingham Airport are employed by a number of 3rd party companies. Those employed by Menzies Aviation have voted to take industrial action although negotiations were ongoing.
“Menzies Aviation is putting contingency plans into operation. Birmingham Airport does not anticipate flight cancellations.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Menzies cannot expect these workers to agree to two years’ of real terms pay cuts during a cost of living crisis when it is bringing in such massive profits. Unite is totally focused on improving our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and the workforce at Menzies have Unite’s total support.”
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “This dispute can be avoided but Menzies needs to return with an offer our members can accept.”
What has Menzies Aviation said about the planned strikes?
Marco di Mario, Senior Vice President Fuels, Menzies Aviation, said: “We are disappointed with the union’s decision to undertake industrial action at Birmingham Airport while negotiations are ongoing and there are still margins to find a resolution that is agreeable by all parties.
“The current package of 11.5% is on top of last year’s 6.5% pay increase. The vote to strike was initiated despite our commitment for further dialogue. We are calling for mediation to achieve a more reasonable position and will have robust contingency plans in place to minimise any potential impact should industrial action go ahead.”