JCB workers awarded major pay rise as firm looks to fulfill record orders
Workers at Staffordshire-based JCB have received a New Year pay rise of 3.9% as the manufacturer looks to fulfil the strongest order book in the company’s history.
The 2018 increase, which is linked to November 2017’s Retail Price Index (RPI), is part of a three-year wage deal which took effect from January 1. It follows a £500 Christmas bonus which was paid to all of JCB’s 5,500 UK employees.
Over the past 12 months JCB has recruited more than 1,200 people at its 11 UK factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wales and handed permanent contracts to 150 agency employees – with more to follow this year.
In addition, JCB has increased its purchasing spend globally to more than £2bn a year and in the past 12 months spending with the company’s 2,500 UK suppliers has risen by 13% compared to 2016. This came as the company launched 46 new products.
To coincide with the New Year, JCB has begun production of a new and innovative range of site dumpers. Manufactured at the group’s Rocester headquarters, the move will create around 70 jobs over the next 12 months.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The industry in which we operate is doing very well at the moment, which is not only good news for JCB, it’s good news for our region and good news for Britain.
“Our spending with UK suppliers has increased substantially over the past year and we are already off to a very strong start in 2018 with a very healthy order bank in place. In my view there is every reason to be optimistic about the future and in particular the future of the British economy.
“With unemployment at its lowest level for more than 40 years, we face some challenges with recruitment but that is a great challenge to have to overcome and a very positive position for the UK to find itself in.”
The pay increase follows acceptance in 2016 by GMB members of a three-year deal. It affects around 3,200 shop floor employees at JCB’s Staffordshire plants in Rocester, Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Rugeley and its factories in Wrexham and Foston, Derbyshire.
Chief Executive Officer Graeme Macdonald said: “The long-term pay deal agreed last year gave us the stability we needed to plan and has delivered a robust pay rise for JCB’s shop floor employees. The outlook for 2018 is positive with markets all over the world in exceptionally good shape.”
GMB Works Convenor Gordon Richardson said: “2017 was a good year for the company which has generated more job security for GMB members and we welcome the pay rise which was agreed as part of the three-year deal.”