Strike could hit Irn-Bru summer supplies of “Scotland’s other national drink” after pay cut offer 


Unite the union announced today (22 June) that its members employed by the world-renowned A.G. Barr are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay.


Supplies of Irn-Bru are under threat this summer because A.G. Barr bosses are attempting to force through a below inflation pay deal.  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 a 5 per cent pay offer. 


The offer equates to a real-terms pay cut of 6.3 per cent, based on the current RPI rate of 11.3 per cent. The ballot opens today (22 June) and closes on 6 July.


Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Imagine a hot summer in Scotland and no supplies of Irn Bru - Scotland’s other national drink - to quench raging Scottish thirsts. Well that’s exactly what’s on the horizon if the management of A.G. 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.”


A.G. Barr to date has not improved the offer despite the popular multi-beverage business increasing its revenue by 18.2 per cent to £317.6m for the year ended on 29 January 2023. The company which produces popular brands such as Irn-Bru increased its adjusted profit before tax to £43.5m, and due to strong revenue generation, it reported a net cash position of £52.9m.


Andy Brown, Unite industrial officer said: “Unite’s members keep the Cumbernauld factory of A.G. Barr running smoothly. Without them it will undoubtedly have a big impact on production and distribution. It is the first potential dispute in the history of the Cumbernauld factory which goes to show how angry our members are at the pay offer on the table. 


We are demanding that A.G. Barr get back round the table and make our members a fair offer or else the supply of brands such as Irn-Bru could be hit by any strike action this summer.”