irn bru

AG Barr said it had contingency plans in place to avoid disruption.

Workers at AG Barr have warned the company’s Irn-Bru brand could be in short supply after announcing dates for a fresh strike over pay.

Members of Unite union will walk out at the Scottish soft drinks manufacturer after rejecting a fresh 5% pay offer.

Nine 24-hour strikes will take place between 11 August and 6 October at AG Barr’s distribution centre in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire. There will also be a continuous ban on overtime, to begin on 8 August.

In total, 10 truck and shunter drivers will take part in the industrial action. Eighty-three per cent of staff members polled backed the walkout.

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said supplies of Irn-Bru “could dry up in a few weeks” as a result of the strikes.

Unite industrial officer Andy Brown added: “Despite our best efforts to resolve this dispute through negotiation, AG Barr has not moved beyond 5%. The only way it seems they will pay attention is if supplies of its popular products including Irn-Bru start to fizzle out, which is exactly what is now on the cards.”

AG Barr described its 5% offer as “fair and competitive” and insisted it had contingency plans in place to prevent disruption.

A spokesperson said: “We are disappointed in the decision by about 10 of our Scottish based HGV1 drivers to take industrial action.

“We made an offer that we believe is fair and competitive – in line with what has been agreed with our other employees. 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 and Acas to find a positive and constructive resolution.”

In the year to 29 January, AG Barr’s revenues surged by 18.2% on a reported basis to £317.6m – representing 15.9% growth on a like-for-like basis, discounting acquisitions.

The company – which also owns Tizer and the Boost energy drink brand – also reported a 13.3% increase in adjusted profit before tax, to £43.5m.