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JCB shutdown with employee pledge

JCB shutdown with employee pledge: JCB is suspending UK production until at least the end of April as a result of the coronavirus crisis and will continue to pay employees unable to work, the company announced today.

The firm’s nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham closed on March 18th as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented reduction in global demand. At that stage, only shop floor employees were affected by the move and were paid in full during this period, while office staff continued to work a 39-hour week from home.

JCB shutdown with employee pledge

JCB shutdown with employee pledge

The news of today’s extended shutdown will mean that the vast majority of JCB’s 6,500 workforce will now be asked to stop working until at least the end of April. During this period, all affected JCB employees will be paid 80% of their basic pay. Senior JCB Directors will not be taking a salary from the company until further notice.

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “These are certainly unprecedented times and none of us expected to find ourselves in this situation. In announcing that all those JCB colleagues asked not to work will receive 80% of their pay, we hope to remove any financial concerns that many people will undoubtedly have had.”

JCB also intends to make an application to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help offset the cost of its support of employees during this challenging period. The scheme is designed to support employers in continuing to pay part of employees’ salaries, for employees who would otherwise have been laid off. The Government scheme pays 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. In devising its scheme, JCB has set no cap and will pay 80% of each affected employee’s pay.

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Tributes to JCB employee

Tributes to JCB employee: Tributes have been paid to a former JCB employee who joined the company as a teaboy and rose through the ranks to become a director.

Bill Hirst MBE – who was the third person recruited by JCB in 1947 – passed away last night (Sunday, January 5th) at the age of 86.

Tributes to JCB employee

Today JCB Chairman Lord Bamford led the tributes to the man who joined JCB as the company was in its infancy. Lord Bamford said: “Bill and his generation helped my father to build a company which became a real force in the world of construction equipment.  Bill was very proud to have worked for JCB and will be remembered by many, many people from the early days of the company. I’d like to offer my condolences to Bill’s wife Jean and all her family at this very sad time.”

Bill, the fourth of eight children, joined JCB as a 14-year-old tea boy when he left St Joseph’s School in Uttoxeter, where he had been Head Boy.

He was recruited on a salary of £1 a week when the company was based at stables at Crakemarsh, three miles down the road from JCB’s World Headquarters at Rocester.

And it was Bill who was instrumental in the relocation to Rocester in 1950 to the site of a former cheese factory. Bill knew JCB Founder Joseph Cyril Bamford was searching for a new location for a factory and suggested the Rocester site – because it was closer to home and meant he could spend an extra 10 minutes in bed each morning.

Tributes to JCB employee

Bill started his National Service in 1951 as was posted as a Royal Military Policeman to Kenya, returning to JCB two years later.  He married his wife Jean in 1955 and the couple had four children.

On his return to JCB, Bill completed 10 years as welding foreman, five in research and then joined the service and spares department at Rocester as service engineer, later becoming Warranty and Final Inspection Manager. He was awarded the MBE for services to export in the New Year’s Honours List of 1975 and became Technical Services Director in 1981. Bill Retired in 1991. He was a staunch supporter of the Royal British Legion and served as President of the Uttoxeter branch in retirement.

Speaking on JCB’s 65th anniversary in 2010, Bill said: “I am proud to have been part of JCB – it’s been my life.”

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