Plane refuelling staff at Birmingham Airport threaten strike action

Staff who refuel planes at Birmingham Airport are threatening to strike over pay.

Unite said about 20 refuelling tanker drivers and operators rejected a 9% pay rise and voted to strike on 15 August.

The workers, who refuel more than three quarters of planes at the airport, said they want a pay rise which reflects the rising cost of living, saying that the 6% rise they received in 2022 was below inflation.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Menzies can afford to pay and it should pay. The company 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.”

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.”

A spokesperson for BHX said: “Fuellers at Birmingham Airport are employed by a number of  third 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.”

Birmingham airport airlines include TUI, easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Emirates.

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