JCB strikes job-safeguarding deal with union over flexible working pattern

Heavy machinery giant JCB has reached agreement on a new working pattern designed to safeguard up to 915 jobs.

The company said negotiations with the GMB union over more flexible working arrangements would help hourly-paid shop floor workers across its UK operations.

The company said it expects disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic will continues in the coming months.

The move does not affect the planned 950 salaried staff redundancies announced last week.

A ballot of GMB members will be held next week on the new temporary collective agreement at JCB’s factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham.

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

JCB products (Rui Vieira/PA)
JCB products (Rui Vieira/PA)

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.”

GMB official Stuart Harrison 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 had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines this year but production is now expected to be around 50,000.

JCB currently employs around 6,700 people in the UK.

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