A warning of peak summer delays at Birmingham airport has been issued with the threat of strike action in a pay row.
About 100 security officers and terminal technicians plan to start continuous action from July 18.
The strikes will “severely impact” Birmingham airport’s security and terminal maintenance operations leading to delays for carriers such as Tui Airways, EasyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Emirates, the Unite union claimed.
The workers are taking industrial action after facing two years of substantial pay cuts, according to Unite.
Three quarters of those involved in the dispute are security officers working unsociable shift patterns for £11.50 an hour.
They say that without a significant pay rise, recruitment and retention issues at the airport will worsen. They received a pay rise of 2.8% last year and have been offered 7.75% and a one-off payment of £850 this year.
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “The employer bears full responsibility for the disruption to passengers now facing serious security delays at Birmingham airport.
“This dispute could have been resolved very early on if Birmingham airport had put forward a pay offer that reflected the deterioration in wages its workers have experienced. There is still time for that to happen, but the airport must table a deal our members can accept.”
General secretary Sharon Graham said: “Birmingham airport has returned to profitability but expects its low-paid workers to swallow a real-terms pay cut after successive attacks on their wages and terms and conditions.”
A spokesperson for Birmingham airport said: “We note the union, representing a minority of our workforce, is threatening strike action from July 18 – despite our current pay offer being well above the current UK average.
“The union’s call for strike action is surprising as it breaches the terms of the bargaining agreement, which lays out the steps for resolving such disputes. We call on the union to honour the terms of the existing bargaining agreement.
“However, if strike action does take place, we are confident the impact will be limited, and we do not anticipate any cancellations. Our advice to customers remains to arrive at the airport in line with guidance from their airline.”