JCB staff given pay rise and £500 bonus
WORKERS at digger giant JCB have been awarded a three per cent pay increase – as well as a share of a £2.5 million Christmas bonus pot.
The company announced the pay rise – which will come into effect from January 1 – as it handed workers a £500 festive bonus yesterday.
Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford thanked staff for their work over the year, which he said had been 'good' for JCB.
Around 5,000 employees at JCB factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will share the bonus pot.
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The pay increase is linked to November's Retail Price Index (RPI) in line with a three-and-a-half year pay deal, agreed in April 2010.
Sir Anthony said: "JCB has performed well in 2012.
"We had a strong start to the year although it has become a lot tougher in recent months, but overall it's been a good year.
"I'm delighted we're able to award another Christmas bonus this year as a thank you for everyone's hard work and commitment during 2012."
Workers at JCB said the factory was buzzing with news of the Christmas bonus and pay rise.
Christopher Burton, aged 25, of Cheadle, who works at JCB's World HQ in Rocester, said: "It's fantastic to get extra pay at Christmas.
"It's a very generous gesture and a great way for the company to thank everyone."
Welder Tim Willmore, aged 35, also of Cheadle, said: "When the news of the pay rise and bonus was announced, there was a real buzz about the place.
"Sir Anthony's kind gesture means we all finish the year on a high."
JCB enjoyed record results last year with sales soaring to £2.75 billion in 2011, which was up 37 per cent from £2 billion the year before and the highest level in its 66-year history.
But JCB chief executive Alan Blake said the company was expecting to have to weather 'economic headwinds' in the coming months.
He said: "When JCB is doing well, Sir Anthony is always very keen to share its success with employees. Looking ahead, we are expecting some economic headwinds in the early part of 2013 but we're investing in future growth opportunities around the world.
"JCB is a resilient company and we're confident that 2013 will be a good year as well."
In October, JCB announced it is to invest £62 million in a construction equipment factory in India.
The announcement followed the opening of a £60 million factory in Brazil.
The 350,000 square foot plant at Sorocaba, near Sao Paulo, will provide £100 million a year in orders for components from JCB's factories.
It is the third year running that JCB has awarded its workforce a £500 Christmas bonus.
In 2007, employees took home a record £1,000 bonus each, but difficult trading conditions meant there was no pay-out in 2008 or 2009.
It is thought the three per cent pay rise will see the average salary for a JCB worker rise from about £25,250 to just over £26,000.
Yesterday's figures, announced by the Office of National Statistics, showed that the rate of RPI, which includes housing costs, fell to three per cent in November, down from 3.2 per cent in October as transport costs and mortgage interest payments fell.