Liverpool John Lennon airport has denied union claims that August bank holiday strike action threatens to bring “chaos” to travellers after some staff rejected a 2% pay offer.

A total of 80 workers from aviation rescue and fire fighting services, the control room, engineering and driver operations and airport bird control are set to walk out next week.

The 36-hour stoppage is due to start at 7pm on Thursday, August 23 and carry on until 7am on Saturday, August 25.

A further 12-hour strike is scheduled from 7am on September 3.

However, airport operations director Paul Staples said: “We don’t expect any impact on passengers.”

He added that only between 20 and 25 out of the airport’s 258 staff would be involved each day and expert cover would be drafted in to cover.

GMB union members overwhelmingly voted for strike action – their first this century – after the airport offered a below inflation pay increase of 2%.

This would mean a real terms pay cut, the union claimed.

GMB organiser Eddie Parker said: “Liverpool airport has failed to meet the aspirations of the GMB members, who have rejected the company’s proposed below inflation pay offer of 2%.

“We have informed the company strike action will not be suspended unless a 3.6% increase is offered.

“The company has allegedly employed outside third party companies to undertake the responsibilities presently undertaken by the aviation rescue and firefighting service and bird control personnel.

“GMB is currently unaware whether the outside agency workers have the necessary specialised skill set and personal fitness standards required to undertake these specialist roles.

“Whilst Liverpool airport has financially invested in developing the airport over recent years, the same sadly cannot be said of their investment in their employees – who have had enough of being taken for granted by their employer.”

The airport said in a statement: “The airport company is very disappointed with the result of this ballot and firmly believes that its pay proposal compares favourably with pay increases seen by many other private and public sector organisations.

“All airport employees receive an excellent package of terms and conditions of employment including health care, sickness benefits and a generous pension scheme.

“Talks between the airport and the GMB to resolve this pay dispute will continue, however plans are in place that will ensure there is no impact on the passenger experience and that it remains business as usual during this time.”