Britons heading on late summer holidays face misery next week with Manchester Airport the latest to join planned industrial action. Two 24-hour strikes on Wednesday August 27 and Monday September 1 have been called at the airport after baggage handlers and check-in staff voted for action.

The staff are employed by ground services company Swissport and the Manchester Airport stoppage announcement follows two 24-hour strikes already called by Unite at Gatwick and Stansted. Those strikes are due to take place on Monday August 25 and Friday August 29.

Unite is unhappy with Swissport’s ‘paltry’ pay offer and is objecting to new sick-pay arrangements. Action could escalate around the country, with Unite members at Swissport also shortly to be balloted at Birmingham and Newcastle airports.

As many as 97% percent of Unite members at Manchester voted in favour of strike action which could hit services run by Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, KLM, Air France and Monarch. Among airlines that could be affected by the Gatwick stoppage are Virgin, Monarch, First Choice and Thomsonfly, while the Stansted strike could hit easyJet, Ryanair and First Choice.