Basildon plant facing tractor shortages as factory stops work over pay

  • 500 workers at CNH’s Basildon plant striking over super-profitable company’s broken pay promises

More than 500 workers at Basildon’s largest employer, the CNH Industrial tractor factory, will begin pay strikes in May, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said.

The workers are angry that the company has reneged on an agreement struck during 2022, stating pay increases would be calculated by the average rate of inflation over the year.

CNH is instead offering four per cent for 2024, rather than the 7.4 per cent it should be under the original agreement. For 2025, the company is offering the rate of inflation as of December 2024.

CNH Group reported record profits of £2.4 billion in 2023, and profits are forecast to stay high for the next three years. CEO Scott Wine received a total compensation package of £19 million in 2022, which was 310 times the pay of the average worker at CNH Group.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The pay deal with CNH was agreed in good faith and the company’s extremely healthy finances show that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for it not to be adhered to.

“CNH is simply trying to rake in even more profits by short-changing its workers. Unite never accepts attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and the CNH Basildon workforce have their union’s total backing in taking strike action.”

The workers, comprising nearly the entire shop floor of the factory, will strike on 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 May. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Strike action will severely compromise the supply of New Holland tractors from the sixty-year-old factory, which are shipped across the world.

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: “Paying these workers what was agreed would be water off a duck’s back to CNH. Instead, the company will have to explain to its clients that its penny-pinching greed has caused tractor shortages. Strike action can still be avoided if CNH stops trying to double cross its workers and sticks to the original agreement.”

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