UK

Irn-Bru supplies may ‘fizzle out’ as staff back strikes in pay row, union warns

The union warned that supplies of Irn Bru may be under threat (Monica Wells/Alamy/PA)
The union warned that supplies of Irn Bru may be under threat (Monica Wells/Alamy/PA) The union warned that supplies of Irn Bru may be under threat (Monica Wells/Alamy/PA)

Supplies of Irn-Bru may “fizzle out” this summer after workers voted for strike action in a dispute over pay, a union has warned.

Unite said supplies of AG Barr products could be under threat after around a dozen trucker and shunter drivers based in the company’s centre in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, backed strike action by 83%.

It comes after workers rejected a 5% wage rise, which Unite says equates to a real-terms pay cut of 6.3% based on the current retail price index rate of 11.3%.

Unite said it will give updates on prospective strike action dates in due course.

Sharon Graham
Sharon Graham Unite boss Sharon Graham said supplies of Irn-Bru ‘could fizzle out’ if strike action goes ahead (PA)

General secretary Sharon Graham said: “Summer supplies of Irn-Bru could fizzle out in a matter of weeks due to AG Barr’s derisory pay offer.

“The company has £52.9 million sitting in the bank, yet management are refusing to share this massive money pot with their workers.

“We will back our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

The union said the soft drinks giant saw an increase in revenue of 18.2% for the year to January 29.

It said AG Barr also increased its adjusted profit before tax to £43.5 million, reporting a net cash position of £52.9 million.

Unite industrial officer Andy Brown said: “Unite’s members emphatically backed strike action due to AG Barr’s tight-fistedness.

“What’s currently on the table is really taking the fizz. It’s totally unacceptable because the company is cash rich.

“We remain open to resolving this dispute through negotiation but unless there is a significant improvement in the pay offer. strike action is on the cards.”

An AG Barr spokesman said: “We’re disappointed in today’s decision by a small number of our drivers to take industrial action.

“We made an offer which we believe is fair and competitive to our HGV1 drivers.

“It is also in line with what has been agreed with our other employees and we believe we have a responsibility to be fair to everyone.

“We have contingency plans in place to maintain customer service and we will continue to work with Unite representatives to find a positive and constructive resolution.”