A THIRD baggage screener at Birmingham International Airport has been sacked for being drunk on the job, it emerged last night.
Last week we revealed how two baggage security guards were fired for gross misconduct after being found flat-out in a rest room in Terminal One in December.
Now management has admitted that another worker was dismissed last October for the same reason.
All three worked for private security firm ICTS, which has held the contract to carry out X-ray screening and security checks 'airside' at the busy airport for 10 years.
The third worker sacked for being drunk turned up for work at 4am 'blind drunk and unable to stand' and was sent home immediately, according to ICTS sources.
Airport management said it was aware of the incident.
Sources close to ICTS said the employee's security pass was taken from him and he was escorted from the building straightaway.
A former worker said: "He had to be helped to get a train home, as he was so drunk. He hadn't been in the job that long and he obviously hoped he could get away with it.
"But when he turned up for the start of his shift he was swaying from side to side and falling over every time he tried to walk. It was a sight to see."
In a statement, Birmingham International Airport said: "BIA and its partners place the highest priority on ensuring that employees are professional at all times whilst carrying out their duties.
"Breaches of procedure are not tolerated and the response by ICTS demonstrates this point."
ICTS refused to comment on the grounds that it does not speak publicly on security matters.
But a source said: "The firm took swift action when it realised that this man was drunk.
"His pass was taken away and he was ordered off the premises. He was later sacked for gross misconduct.
"On the occasion in October, the security agent had obviously been out on the town on a Saturday night and not got any sleep in between going out and coming into work.
"We employ 2,500 staff at airports across the country - on occasions people will do that. The important thing is that we dealt with it the right way."
It is not the first time that ICTS employees have sparked security fears.
In May 2003, the Sunday Mercury spoke to two security guards who claimed that some suitcases were going unchecked because of staff shortages.
Last week one former worker contacted us to claim that ICTS staff have failed in the past to search the required number of passengers boarding some international flights.
"Some airlines pay extra for random searches to be carried out," he said.
"But I've seen ICTS staff calling out the numbers of seats for passengers they've supposedly searched when they haven't. And the airlines involved and passengers are none the wiser," the exsecurity guard claimed.
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