Supplies of Irn-Bru are “under threat” this summer as workers at the makers of Scotland’s most popular fizzy drink are balloted for strike action, a union has said.
Unite the union announced members employed by the world-renowned AG Barr are considering walking out in a dispute over pay.
It comes after company bosses offered a below inflation pay deal, the union said.
Around a dozen trucker and shunter drivers at the company’s Cumbernauld production and distribution centre are being balloted on strike action following the rejection of the 5% pay offer.
“Imagine a hot summer in Scotland and no supplies of Irn Bru – Scotland’s other national drink – to quench raging Scottish thirsts,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.
“Well that’s exactly what’s on the horizon if the management of AG Barr don’t revise their current wage offer to Unite members. In reality what’s current is a brutal real terms pay cut.
“It is a cash rich company with £52.9m sitting in the bank, so they have the money to make a decent offer. Our members can be assured that they will have Unite’s total support in this fight.”
AG Barr said it had “unfortunately” so far been unable to reach an agreement.
“We have offered a deal which we believe is fair and competitive,” a spokesperson said.
“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.
“As well as this year’s pay offer, we gave the majority of our frontline workers, including our HGV1 drivers, two additional payments across the last year totalling £1,500, to support cost of living challenges.
“We will continue to engage with those involved with a view to finding a positive and constructive resolution, however we do have contingency plans in place to maintain customer service.”