Stansted baggage handlers have voted in favour of strike action over the Easter weekend in a row over pay.

The GMB union said strikes would go ahead on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday in a row unless urgent talks were held to settle the dispute. 

The news comes after 150 GMB union members employed by airport contractor Swissport voted in favour of strike action over shift changes, which the union claims could lead to pay cuts of up to £1,000 a year.

GMB organiser Gary Pearce called for immediate talks between the union and Swissport to resolve the crisis. “Unless there are urgent talks and a settlement this vote for action will result in disruption over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

“The travelling public need to be aware that it has been this aggressive move by Swissport to cut our members pay at a time of high inflation that has led to this strike vote,” he said.

The GMB had already asked Swissport to reconsider the proposed pay cuts and offered alternative working arrangements.

Swissport’s proposed change to workers’ shift patterns will also require baggage handlers to work an extra 13 times a year, according to Pearce.

“Swissport claim they have lost work on the Ryanair contract at the airport. GMB baggage handlers have seen no evidence of this,” he said.