Birmingham airport, oil company Shell and airlines are pressuring Menzies to prevent holiday strike chaos at the airport, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday).

All out strike 

All out indefinite strike action over pay by Menzies refuelling tanker drivers and operators, responsible for refuelling three quarters of the airport’s planes, will begin on Tuesday 15 August.

The specialised nature of the role, a ban on agency workers during strikes from 10 August and the inability of the small number of non-Menzies refuellers to provide adequate cover during the strikes, is causing concern for everyone that relies on the company’s services.

Birmingham airport airlines include TUI, easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Emirates. Menzies is contracted by Shell to run refuelling operations at the airport. Refuelling workers wear Shell branded work gear and the tankers are emblazoned with its logo.

Crucial to Birmingham Airport

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members at Menzies are crucial to the running of Birmingham Airport. Yet Menzies is refusing to fairly share the massive profits that are being made because of these highly skilled workers. This is just greed and Menzies’ clients and service users are right to pressure it to end this dispute. Menzies’ needs to put forward an offer our members can accept.”

Menzies’ most recent annual report shows it had revenues of over £1 billion in 2021 with operating profits of £60.4 million, while its Birmingham refuellers received a below inflation (RPI) pay rise last year and have been offered another one this year.

Reasonable pay offer required 

Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “Menzies can resolve this dispute swiftly and avoid strike action by putting forward a reasonable pay offer. The ball is in the company’s court – it will be directly responsible for any disruption caused at Birmingham airport.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.