JCB staff vote to save jobs

News Story
- 30 Oct 2008 ( #384 ) - Staffordshire, United Kingdom
1 min read
Matthew Taylor
Matthew Taylor
JCB employees have voted for a shorter working week to protect the jobs of their workmates. The vote has saved about 500 jobs.

Two thirds of JCB's production staff voted in favour of a 34-hour week in response to news the company was planning massive job cuts. JCB has announced plans to cut UK production by 19% and reduce its workforce after a decline in sales. The action would have resulted in the loss of 800 jobs from the 5,500-strong workforce. The company has already cut 379 jobs. That included 184 voluntary redundancies.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of JCB, applauded the actions of the company's staff, saying the ballot result reflects the unity of the JCB workforce and a great team spirit. "They have looked after the needs of one another rather than the needs of the individual and that is to be commended."

The new work schedule will start in November and is expected to last at least six months.

Taylor says the outcome means JCB will retain its skills base. "This is very positive because it means we retain the skills of a wider workforce who have contributed to the success this company has enjoyed over many years.

"It means we retain the fundamental strength of our workforce and this is welcome news as it puts us in a strong position to take advantage of the upturn in the market when it comes."

The GMB union negotiated the deal with JCB on the workers' behalf. The union says it hopes office staff will follow the lead of shop floor workers and accept a similar reduction in hours.
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