Baggage handlers and check-in staff at a company serving four airports including Gatwick have voted to strike in a row over pay.
Unite said its members at Swissport backed industrial action by 94 per cent in a turnout of just over 50 per cent.
The union said it has 1,000 members at the firm, based at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted airports.
Talks started today (Wednesday October 16) to try to resolve the dispute and they will continue this week.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “In the light of this overwhelming mandate for action, Swissport has requested talks which we are happy to attend so we can try to resolve this matter.
“The dispute centres on the company’s decision to freeze workers’ pay for 18 months, from April 2012 through to October 2013, followed by a below inflation increase of just 2.5 per cent.
“Our members are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and Unite believes Swissport is failing to recognise the contribution its staff are making to the success of the company.”
Swissport has been approached for comment.