Shop floor jobs at a major employer in Staffordshire, which has factories in the Cheadle and Uttoxeter areas, have been saved. On May 15, JCB announced that almost 1,500 jobs across its UK factories were set to be axed. These included 950 jobs at risk of redundancy, and around 500 Guidant agency employees who were going to be ‘released’ from the digger giant. The announcement came from the company after “demand for its machines fell by half as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Shop floor jobs at a major employer in Staffordshire, which has factories in the Cheadle and Uttoxeter areas, have been saved.
On May 15, JCB announced that almost 1,500 jobs across its UK factories were set to be axed. These included 950 jobs at risk of redundancy, and around 500 Guidant agency employees who were going to be ‘released’ from the digger giant.
The announcement came from the company after “demand for its machines fell by half as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Now JCB has announced that the business has reached an agreement with the GMB union on a “working pattern that is designed to safeguard up to 915 hourly-paid shop floor positions across its UK operations.”
A spokesman for JCB said: “The company has successfully concluded negotiations with the GMB 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.”
Now a ballot of GMB members is to be held later this week on the new temporary collective agreement at JCB’s factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham with the result expected on Friday (May 29). GMB members are set to 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.”
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.
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.”
JCB confirmed that the company, and the GMB, will then review the agreement no later than December 31, 2020 and may “extend it for a further period.”
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