Impact of Birmingham airport strikes to be more severe after High Court ban on agency workers
- Friday 14 July 2023
Airport workers reject latest ‘inadequate’ offer as number of strikers grows
The impact of an all-out strike by more than 150 Birmingham Airport security guards and terminal technicians will be increased after a High Court ruling banning agency workers.
Following the government’s decision to reverse the ban on employers hiring agency workers during strike action in July 2022, a group of trade unions including Unite, challenged the decision through a judicial review coordinated by the TUC.
The High Court has today upheld the unions’ judicial review. The 2022 amendment to the regulations has now been quashed due to the government’s complete failure to consult prior to implementing their proposals, as required by legislation.
Employers will be barred from recruiting agency workers to undermine legal strike action from Wednesday 10 August.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a total vindication for unions and workers. The government’s decision to allow employers to recruit agency workers to undermine legal strike action was a cynical move to back their friends in business and weaken workers’ legal rights to withdraw their labour.
“It was entirely counterproductive as, rather than weaken industrial action, it has hardened attitudes and unnecessarily extended strikes. Birmingham airport should be aware that this will happen if it decides to use strike breakers in the short time it has to use them before the strikes begin and the ban comes into place. The only way this dispute will be resolved is with an acceptable offer from the company.”
The workers will begin all out continuous strike action from 18 July and rejected a renewed offer from the company yesterday (Wednesday).
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “Our members have rejected the renewed offer put forward by Birmingham airport. For a security guard working shifts earning £11.30 an hour, the deal would have taken their hourly rate to just £12.49. The offer did not reflect the financial strain our members are under, nor would it have solved the staffing shortages at the airport.
“Birmingham must do better if it wants to end this dispute before strikes commence on 18 July. The anger over low pay is such that the number of striking workers has increased to 150 and is growing by the day."
The strikes will severely impact Birmingham Airport’s security and terminal maintenance operations leading to delays for carriers such as TUI, EasyJet, Wizz, Ryanair, Lufthansa and Emirates.
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite senior communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
Email: [email protected]
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.