More than 500 tractor factory workers in Basildon to go on strike in bitter row over pay

The CNH industrial tractor factory in Basildon
The CNH industrial tractor factory in Basildon -Credit:Google

More than 500 employees at a huge Essex tractor factory will be going on strike this month in a row over pay, which a union has branded "penny-pinching greed". The employees at the CNH industrial tractor factory in Basildon will walk out in May.

United, the union representing them says the workers are angry that the company has allegedly reneged on an agreement struck in 2022, stating pay increases would be calculated by the average rate of inflation over the year. Unite said 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, the union said. 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 added.

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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 shopfloor of the factory, will strike from May 14 to 16, then May 21 to 23 and then May 28, 29, and 30. Unite said more strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

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