Workers at Birmingham's Dunlop Aircraft Tyres factory have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in support of a pay claim.

Almost 90 per cent of the 180 members of the GMB union have said they support industrial action in protest against a 2.75 per cent pay offer.

Workers are also unhappy at conditions at the plant following a change in ownership and are fearful of the company shipping production to China as part of its new joint venture retreading facility there.

The union has informed the management of its intentions and unless an agreement can be reached then industrial action will go ahead.

One worker, who declined to be named, said: "They have offered us 2.75 per cent with strings attached. They have said we could get another increase in July but in order for that we are going to have to reduce scrap.

"They are also taking away shift allowances and are cutting down on our break times. It's terrible - morale is rock bottom."

He said staff at the plant were also training up Chinese workers in advance of the new retreading facility being set up in Jinjiang.

"People are worried that the company will ship production over to China," said the worker.

He said the company's attitude to its workers had changed considerably following its acquisition by private equity business ABN Amro Capital last June in a deal worth around £40 million. ABN Amro, now part of Barclays, acquired a controlling 74.6 per cent stake in DAT as a result of the deal.

DAT chairman Ian Edmondson said: "Dunlop Aircraft Tyres and the GMB have been going through a normal annual pay review process and had agreed a deal that both the company and the union jointly recommended.

"It includes an overall three per cent increase on basic rates, which is comparable with many other settlements within the region.

"We are extremely disappointed that the GMB Rubber Workers have voted in favour of industrial action, but we remain keen to resume discussions so that an agreement can be reached," he added.