Irn-Bru drivers set to go on strike amid warning about iconic Scotland national drink supply

Workers at AG Barr’s Cumbernauld plant could strike for a further 13 days if a breakthrough is not reached, hitting supplies of Irn-Bru

Truck drivers who carry supplies of Irn-Bru across Scotland are poised to strike in industrial action that are expected to impact on the supply of one of Scotland’s best-known drinks.

Union Unite, which represents truck and shunter drivers that transport Irn-Bru supplies, are due to hold talks on Thursday with soft drink owner AG Barr in a bid to break the deadlock over the pay dispute.

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But the company has been warned if no resolution is reached, workers will commit to strike action across a further 13 days this month.

Union bosses say supplies of Irn-Bru could be impacted by the strikes. Picture: John DevlinUnion bosses say supplies of Irn-Bru could be impacted by the strikes. Picture: John Devlin
Union bosses say supplies of Irn-Bru could be impacted by the strikes. Picture: John Devlin

Unite members have previously rejected a 5 per cent pay deal from the Scottish firm.

The union said drivers would go on strike on October 13 and 16, and then from October 20-30 if no improved pay offer was available. Workers at AG Barr's plant in Cumbernauld are already due to resume strike action from midnight on Friday.

The further disruption to supplies would come in the lead-up to Halloween.

The stance comes after A.G. Barr last week reported interim trading results for the first six months of this year, which showed pre-tax profits were up 12.6 per cent to £27.8 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AG Barr is refusing to make our members a fair pay offer despite announcing that pre-tax profits have jumped to £27.8m for the first six months of this year.

“We are dealing with a company where profits are overflowing, yet it is still trying to force a significant real terms pay cut on our members. This is completely unacceptable. Unite is backing our members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite represents 11 trucker and shunter drivers who have been taking part in a number of one-day strikes since August.

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Andy Brown, Unite industrial officer, said: “A.G. Barr is a cash rich company with tens of millions sitting in the bank and it has no problem showering the boardroom with massive pay-outs. The 5 per cent pay offer on the table represents a significant real terms pay cut. Our members help make A.G. Barr the profits it is amassing and they deserve more.

An AG Barr spokesperson said the company had contingency plans in place to maintain customer service, adding: "We’re disappointed in the decision by 11 of our Scottish based HGV1 drivers, represented by Unite the union, to take industrial action.

“We made a pay offer that we believe is fair and competitive – in line with what has been agreed with our other employees..”



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