JCB today welcomed news that production employees had 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 around 500 shopfloor positions.
The decision – which will now mean redundancies will be reduced by around two thirds – was today applauded by JCB Chief Executive Officer Matthew Taylor.
He said: “The ballot result shows the tremendous unity amongst 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 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 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 since last week following news that the company needed to reduce output at UK factories by 19% following a downturn in orders caused by the global financial crisis.
Following today's ballot result, short-time working will start at the beginning of November for a minimum of six months.