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East Midlands Chamber News

Jobs saved as employees agree shorter hours

Shop floor employees at JCB have voted to work shorter hours for the next three months to save the jobs of colleagues at risk of compulsory redundancy. This follows an announcement by JCB earlier this month that up to 290 shop floor positions were at risk of redundancy because of a rapid deterioration in world construction equipment markets.

During the first stage of consultations, the number of positions at risk of redundancy reduced from 290 to 235. In order to avoid compulsory redundancies, JCB and the GMB union also proposed a flexible working pattern for shop floor employees until the end of February to save in excess of 100 jobs. GMB members have voted in favour of the proposal after a ballot which concluded on Friday.

JCB Chief Executive Graeme Macdonald said: “Our shop floor colleagues are to be applauded for their actions. JCB and the GMB were determined to do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies through a combination of voluntary redundancies, early retirements and flexible working. It highlights a great team spirit at JCB and also means we can retain some vitally important skills.”

JCB GMB Works Convenor Gordon Richardson said: “Our members are to be congratulated on the result of the ballot. It’s a magnanimous act which is in the spirit of the approaching festive season and means that over 100 people who were under threat of compulsory redundancy will now have a much happier Christmas.”

The flexible working pattern will operate for the next three months at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffs, JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter, JCB Cab Systems in Rugeley and JCB Transmissions in Wrexham.

The standard working week at JCB is 39 hours. The number of hours worked at each site will now vary depending on production volumes but will be 34 hours or above. Employees will have the choice of either being paid for just the reduced hours worked or being paid for the full 39 hour week and then working back the ‘banked’ hours next year.

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