Unions claim ‘‘bullied’’ workers at Birmingham Airport are ‘‘fearful for their jobs’’ amid a ballot for strike action over a pay claim.
Unite is to serve the airport with notice of a ballot for industrial action on Monday after long-running talks over a rise ended in deadlock.
And union regional official Peter Coulson accused the airport management of ‘‘disgraceful tactics’’ after workers were threatened with job cuts if they take action over the two-and-a-half per cent offer – the first rise since February 2009.
Mr Coulson said: “On Monday, November 5, we are serving the company with seven days notice of a ballot for industrial action and the ballot will commence the following Monday for a two-week period.
“We have asked the company via ACAS to see if they would agree to a meeting before the notice is served and there has been total silence.
‘‘The last two meetings involved ACAS and the last one lasted over 10 hours – it was just deadlock.
“I believe that to make threats to jobs is disgraceful. People at the airport are fearful for their jobs and are being bullied into submission,’’ he said.
“Birmingham Airport was recently voted the best airport in the UK – if it is the best, then why not pay the best wages?
"Every single person at the airport has contributed to this award.”
Unite revealed last month that airport management had sent a letter to staff threatening to withdraw the two-and-a-half per cent offer, plus a one-off payment of £150, and cut jobs if strike action was taken.
An airport spokesman said: “It’s disappointing that an agreement couldn’t be reached despite the company putting forward an opportunity to resolve the issue by increasing its offer to the equivalent of 3.3 per cent.’’