Irn-Bru makers, AG Barr, rubbish claims by UNITE the union that they have broken the law during periods of industrial action at their Cumbernauld depot

The makers of Irn-Bru have rubbished claims that they have been using agency workers amidst ongoing strike action by their staff.

AG Barr were forced to refute the claims after UNITE the union claimed the firm had “potentially” engaged in illegal activity during industrial action.

In a statement on their website, UNITE said it had reported AG Barr and the contractors - Stobbart and Streamline - to the Department for Business and Trade.

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The union is now “demanding” an investigation into the soft-drinks giant for the potential use of agency labour through the contractors during previous rounds of strike action.

They are also calling for “any possible enforcement action” to be taken.

However, A.G Barr rubbished the allegations.

A spokesman said: "We strongly refute the provocative accusations by UNITE.

“This is untrue and strongly denied. We respect our drivers’ decision to take industrial action, which is their personal choice.

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“We have done nothing to deter or intimidate them. We note that Unite has apparently made a report to the Department of Business and Trade.

“We will of course co-operate in any investigation to provide the necessary evidence.”

Workers at Cumbernauld's AG Barr site went on the first of nine potential days of strike action on August 11, with subsequent action taken every Friday.

That's after UNITE staff backed strike action by 83 per cent over what they call a “significant real terms pay cut” of five per cent in a dispute over pay.

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Union leaders say the broader cost of living measurement currently stands at 10.7 per cent.

Use of agency labour during strike action is a criminal offence under the 'conduct of employment agencies and employment businesses regulations 2003'.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “AG Barr’s behaviour during this pay dispute has been disgraceful.

“The company is on the brink of forever tarnishing its reputation with not only the workers, but the Scottish public.

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“AG Barr is displaying nasty anti-union tactics in an attempt to bully and intimidate our members back to work. Unite will not tolerate this behaviour and we will challenge it head-on in the defence of our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.”

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