Nearly 1,000 shop floor jobs saved at JCB

Credit: PA

Nearly 1,000 jobs have been saved at construction equipment manufacturer JCB.

The GMB Union says 915 hourly-paid, shop floor jobs have been saved, after negotiations with the company.

It says the workers would have been at risk of redundancy had the agreement not been made, but members will now hold a ballot on the plans.

GMB says new flexible working arrangements would secure 12 months further work during the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic conditions that have resulted.

These proposals to be voted on include introducing a system of banking hours, and extending shift patterns to include earlier starts and later finish times.

The company says its employees will also be guaranteed 39 hours’ basic contractual pay in any one week.

GMB Senior representatives have been working with JCB throughout the crisis to protect the jobs of our members.

Stuart Harrison, GMB Organiser
JCB's headquarters are at Rocester in Staffordshire Credit: PA

Last week, JCB announced 950 jobs could be cut at the firm, which is headquartered in Staffordshire, and also has sites in Derbyshire and Wrexham.

It also announced 500 agency employees were being released from their contracts, as a result of the demand for the company's machines being halved during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company says these job cuts to salaried employees are still planned, and a consultation period began on Monday 18th May.

In 2020 we had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines. With so much global uncertainty, that figure right now is looking more like 50,000 machines. In the UK, around 85 per cent of everything we manufacture is exported and our UK factories will now produce machines at half the rate we had planned just a few months ago. As a result, we have no choice but to align our cost base to demand for the rest of the year. It is deeply regrettable that we have had to take these steps to restructure the business and that it will have an impact on so many people. No business could have anticipated the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences. JCB has had to act quickly for the long-term survival of the business, which has been at the heart of our decision-making throughout this difficult period.

Mark Turner, Chief Operating Officer, JCB

Production at the company's UK factories resumed this week, where more than 2,000 employees have now returned to work after being furloughed on the Government's Job Retention Scheme.

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