Birmingham Airport holidaymakers warned of ‘summer chaos’ as workers to vote on strike action
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Staff at Birmingham Airport are set to vote on whether to strike this summer due to pay.
Around 100 security officers and terminal technicians employed by Birmingham Airport, as well as aircraft refuellers employed by Menzies, are being balloted for strike action this summer. Strikes could begin as early as July and would severely impact Birmingham Airport’s operations.
Unite Union regional officer Sulinder Singh said it would “cause a summer shutdown at Birmingham Airport” causing havoc for local holidaymakers. Birmingham Airport has been contacted for a comment.
Unite the Union say the Birmingham Airport workers are being balloted after facing two years of pay cuts. They say three quarters of the Birmingham Airport workers being balloted are security officers working for £11.50 an hour. The workers say that without a significant pay rise, recruitment and retention issues at the airport will worsen.
Last year, the workers received a pay rise of just 2.8 per cent when the real rate of inflation, RPI, was running at 13.8 per cent – equating to an 11 per cent pay cut, according to Unite. The union say they have been offered 7.75 per cent and a one off £850 payment.
The Menzies workers, who drive and operate tankers and refuel over three quarters of planes at the airport, have rejected a nine per cent pay offer.
The ballot for strike action for Birmingham Airport security guards and terminal technicians closes on 29 June. The ballot of Menzies workers closes on 3 July.
What has the union said?
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “Both Birmingham Airport and Menzies can afford to give their workers a fair pay rise and that is exactly what needs to happen. Unite workers at Birmingham Airport are fed up with pay cuts, especially when they know both companies have combined profits of more than £80 million. These workers will receive their union’s total support during this dispute.”
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “Strike action would cause a summer shutdown at Birmingham Airport but this would be entirely the fault of the airport’s leadership and Menzies. Many of the workers at the airport are really struggling to make ends meet.
“This is simply unacceptable when both companies have enough money to pay them fairly. The employers need to come back to the negotiating table with offers that are acceptable to our hard-pressed members.”
Birmingham Airport has been contatced for comment