JCB – which employs more than 500 people on Wrexham Industrial Estate – has welcomed the news that production employees have voted for a shorter working week to protect the jobs of colleagues.
A ballot of GMB union members at JCB’s UK production sites resulted in a majority of more than two thirds voting in favour of a 34-hour week instead of the alternative of cutting about 500 shopfloor positions.
The decision – which will now mean redundancies will be reduced by about two thirds – has been applauded by JCB chief executive officer Matthew Taylor.
He said: “The ballot result shows the tremendous unity among the JCB workforce and a great team spirit, which I applaud.
“They have looked after the needs of one another rather than the needs of the individual and that is to be commended.
“From a JCB perspective it means we retain the fundamental strength of our workforce and this is very welcome news as it puts us in a very strong position to take advantage quickly of the upturn in the market when it comes.”
JCB and the GMB have been in discussions for more than a week following news the company needed to reduce output at UK factories by 19% following a downturn in orders caused by the global financial crisis.
Following last Thursday’s ballot result, short-time working will start at the beginning of November for a minimum of six months.