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Union hopes to have saved 915 JCB jobs

By John Corser | Rugeley | Business | Published:

JCB has reached agreement on a new working pattern that is designed to safeguard up to 915 hourly-paid shop floor positions across its UK operations.

JCB's world headquarters is at Rocester, Staffordshire

The Staffordshire digger giant has successfully concluded negotiations with the GMB union over more flexible working arrangements for shop floor employees as the anticipated disruption caused by the pandemic continues in the coming months.

The move will protect the jobs of up to 915 shop floor employees but does not affect the planned 950 salaried staff redundancies announced last week.

A ballot of GMB members is to be held next week on the new temporary collective agreement at JCB’s factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham with the result expected on Friday, May 29.

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GMB members will cast their vote in person at JCB sites.

The announcement comes as JCB resumes production at UK factories where more than 2,000 employees have now returned to work.

JCB chief operating officer Mark Turner said: “We have held very constructive discussions with the GMB. It is very pleasing that we have found a way forward on production flexibility because we expect disruption from the Covid-19 crisis to continue until at least the end of this year.”

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Review

Among the proposals GMB members are being asked to vote on is the introduction of a system of banking hours and extending shift patterns to include earlier starts and later finish times. Employees will also be guaranteed 39 hours basic contractual pay in any one week.

The GMB is strongly recommending that its members vote in favour of the new arrangements. JCB and the GMB will review the agreement no later than December 31and may extend it for a further period.

In 2020 JCB had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines but production is now expected to be around 50,000. JCB currently employs around 6,700 people in the UK.

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Stuart Harrison, GMB organiser said: "GMB senior representatives have been working with JCB throughout the crisis to protect the jobs of our members. Our new agreement provides flexibility to the company, through a working time arrangement and achieves our sole objective of avoiding compulsory redundancies.

“We’ve worked hard to avoid job losses here and are very grateful to all our members for working together to secure their future with JCB.”

The company had written to employees to advise that up to 950 staff roles are under threat at its 10 plants in Staffordshire and Wrexham and that a 45-day consultation period has started.

Around 500 Guidant agency employees, who work at JCB’s UK sites, have also been released from the business.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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