Security staff at London Luton Airport plan to stage a 12-day strike from this Thursday (May 23), in a dispute against “heavy-handed” shift changes.

The industrial action by members of the Unite union is set to take place between 0430 on May 23 and 2100 on June 3, including the upcoming May Spring bank holiday.

A statement from Unite said that “London Luton Airport is attempting to push through a new shift pattern affecting around 120 security guards which forces them to work an extra 15 days a year and will only get nine free weekends a year”.

The union added that “Unite believes the recruitment of security staff has not matched increasing passenger numbers; instead the airport is putting all the burden on its existing workers, forcing them to work an extra 15 days a year”.

Security staff staged similar strikes earlier this month, which Unite said “caused significant delays”. For its part Luton airport said in a tweet that “We do not expect any disruption to passengers”, and has posted the following statement on its website:

“We have robust contingency plans in place and following similar action earlier this month there was no disruption to passengers with an average security wait time of five minutes.

“We remain open to discussions with the union to avert this industrial action and will update our website if the situation changes.”