Strike action at digger-maker JCB has been avoided after the GMB union reached a ‘last-ditch deal’ over the company’s controversial plans to close one of its pension schemes.
JCB announced earlier this month that it will close its J C Bamford Lifeplan scheme in April following consultation with more than 1,100 employees.
The manufacturer – which has factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham – wants to shut the scheme to bring the majority of its employees onto the same pension plan, the J C Bamford Stakeholder Scheme.
But the union raised concerns that the move could see around 1,200 workers lose out on ‘tens of thousands of pounds.’
Now JCB and GMB have reached a deal which could see compensation awarded to employees who are affected by the plans.
GMB is now urging workers to vote in favour of the deal when they go to the ballot box next week.
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Stuart Harrison, GMB regional organiser, said: “Our members are furious at the axing of their pension scheme and have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.
“We’ve (since) secured a good deal for our members to help safeguard both their futures and that of their families
“Our members will now exercise their democratic rights to vote on the deal.
“With their union behind them, workers know they’ll always be protected.”
He added: “GMB stands firm behind workers struggling for a comfortable retirement after a lifetime of service.”
JCB Chief Operating Officer Mark Turner said: “Following extensive negotiations between JCB and the GMB, both parties have agreed a way forward.
“The GMB will now be recommending its members to accept the proposal in a forthcoming ballot.”