Two airport workers have been sacked for allegedly sleeping on the job.

The pair were said to have been seen dozing in a vacant building at Birmingham International Airport in the early hours of the morning.

The men, whose identities have not been revealed, dispute the claims by airport management and insisted they were in the area resting or playing cards.

It is understood they worked for the operations division, which is responsible for safety and security of the airfield.

Their role included carrying out hazard and security checks "airside".

In a statement, an airport spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that two employees have been dismissed for gross misconduct.

" The dismissal was made in the interests of safety and security of staff and passengers." She added: "The airport is happy we have adhered to procedures. Safety is the number one priority. Their actions were classed as gross misconduct."

The men's union has appealed, claiming their members were secretly filmed by security staff and had never been caught sleeping.

The airport spokeswoman said only that there was a high level of surveillance throughout the airport site.