Security staff at the Royal Opera House are to be balloted for strikes in a dispute over pay.
Members of the Unite union employed by Corps Security at the London theatre will vote in the coming weeks on whether on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.
Unite warned that performances at the Covent Garden venue will be disrupted this summer if the security guards vote for strikes.
Unite regional officer Steve Rowlatt said: “We now have an interval to settle this dispute before performances at the Royal Opera House are disrupted in the early summer.
“We urge the employer not to get stage fright over holding talks.
“We believe that the opera house would not be able to operate a normal programme of performances without the fully trained and experienced security team at work, as it would put the security and health and safety of the paying public at risk.
“What we have here is a chorus of discontent by a highly trained workforce dedicated to the safety of the opera house’s patrons. Years of no or below inflation pay rises have been accompanied by an unpleasant culture of bullying of our members.”