Solidarity is voting for workers at Birmingham Airport, who they say have faced two years of real wage cuts, with industrial action possible mid-July
Birmingham Airport could be the latest airport to go on strike this summer if workers who have faced real wage cuts for two years quit their jobs.
The West Midlands Visitor Center is facing the risk of chaos if 100 security personnel, terminal technicians and aircraft refueling staff employed by Menzies continue with their plans to leave.
Workers will get to vote on pay, with the majority of those surveyed being security officers with a “discord” working style, earning around £11.50, according to Unite.
The union says employees have faced two years of actual cuts and if they don’t get a substantial raise, recruitment and retention problems at the airport will worsen.
Some security staff at Birmingham Airport received a 2.8% pay rise. The actual inflation rate was 13.8% over that period, meaning some people suffered an 11% pay cut.
Unite said those workers have been offered a 7.75% pay rise this year, as well as a one-time £850 payment. This is lower than the current 8.7% increase in the consumer price index, which measures the cost of a select basket of goods.
Menzies workers, who drive oil tankers and refuel three-quarters of the planes at the airport, turned down an offer of 9% pay, after a 6% increase last year.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Both Birmingham and Menzies airports can afford to give their workers a fair wage increase and that’s exactly what needs to happen.
“United workers at Birmingham Airport are fed up with the pay cuts, especially when they know both companies have a combined profit of more than £80m.”
Voting for strike action ends June 29, with Menzies workers until July 3 to vote. Strikes can occur at any time from mid-July onwards, as workers need to notify their employers seven days in advance of the strike.
A spokesperson for Birmingham Airport told TTG: “The majority of our workforce has received a substantial pay rise after accepting the company’s offer. In the event of strike action taking place, we believe that the impact will be limited and we do not anticipate any cancellations.”
News of the Birmingham Airport vote comes the same week that security guards at London’s Heathrow Airport postponed their strike for 31 days after receiving an offer of a raise.
Staff are set to go on strike from June 24, causing significant disruption at the tourist hub as the busy summer season really begins.
The first two days of the strike have now been postponed to give union members time to vote on the latest pay deal.
The remaining 29 days of strike will continue if the pay offer is rejected, meaning more than 2,000 members of the Unite union will go on strike at Europe’s busiest airport.
The exact date will now be:
- June 28, 29 and 30
- July 14 to 16, July 21 to 24 and July 28 to 31
- August 4 to 7, August 11 to 14, 18 to 20, and 24 to 27 August
If the payment deal is rejected, security officers at Terminal 3 – the base for many international airlines including American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic – will join their colleagues from the ‘center’ main at Terminal 5.
Birmingham Airport has been contacted for further comment.