New flexible working arrangement will protect 915 shop floor jobs at JCB

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New flexible working arrangements have been drawn up to help protect hundreds of shop floor jobs at digger-maker JCB.

The company has agreed to introduce a new working pattern for factory staff at its UK plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham in a move which is expected to safeguard 915 jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It is thought that the 915 roles were at risk of being axed as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Now GMB Union has reached an agreement with the manufacturer on new working arrangements which includes a system of banking hours and earlier start and later finish times.

The new proposals also mean employees will be guaranteed 39 hours’ basic contract pay in any one week.

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.”

Union members are due to vote on the new, temporary agreement next week with a result expected on Friday, May 29 with a review into the new arrangements taking place no later than December 31, 2020.

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 latest announcement from JCB comes after the company revealed it is looking to axe 950 office-based staff across its UK factories as demand for machines continues to fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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