UK soft-drink manufacturer AG Barr is facing strike action by drivers at an Irn-Bru production and distribution centre in Scotland.
Truck and shunter drivers working at the site in Cumbernauld have rejected a 5% increase in wages offered by AG Barr, trade union Unite said today (7 July).
Unite described the offer as “derisory” pointing to the current RPI rate of inflation of 11.3% making it amount to a pay cut of 6.3%
“Unite’s members emphatically backed strike action due to A.G. Barr’s tight-fistedness. What’s currently on the table is really taking the fizz,” said Unite industrial officer Andy Brown.
“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.”
Untie has pointed to AG Barr’s revenue, which was up 18.2% to £317.6m in the year ended on 29 January 2023, as well as the group’s £52.9m cash in the bank, as aggravating factors that have added to the instigation of the strike action.
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The planned industrial action was backed in a vote by 83% of the plant’s union members.
A spokesperson from AG Barr 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.”
At the start of the year, workers at a Diageo Scotch whisky facility in the Scottish town of Leven took industrial action amid a dispute over pay. The dispute remains an ongoing issue.
In May, staff at the site in Wakefield in West Yorkshire threatened 14 days of industrial action.