WORKERS at Birmingham International Air-port may stage summer strikes in a dispute over pay.
Check-in staff and baggage handlers employed by Swissport say their employers have reneged on paying a 2.75 per cent increase agreed last year.
The Unite union said Swissport had claimed they could not afford the increase from April 1 this year.
“They told staff that they were very sorry but they were not honouring the rise because they could not afford it,” said John Partridge, deputy regional secretary of Unite. “They said they simply didn’t have the money.”
He added that if the company did not come up with the cash there would be a ballot for industrial action.
A Swissport spokesman said a minimum pay increase of 2.75 per cent was agreed in 2008 but “in common with the rest of the world, the subsequent economic events were obviously not foreseen.”
He said the company was committed to increasing salaries and benefits of its employees but this could only be done by boosting revenue and productivity and reducing costs. The union had refused to enter into any discussions, he added.
A spokeswoman for the airport said Swissport was one of four companies that provided ground services for BIA.