As New Holland pushes forward with its target to this year build the two millionth tractor at its Basildon plant in Essex, such plans may be hampered following further strike action from its employees over an ongoing pay dispute. Over 500 employees at the plant will continue to strike throughout June, following nine days of strike action during May.

According to UK workers union Unite, the strikes were held in response to CNH breaking an agreement signed in 2022 outlining that pay increases would be calculated by the average rate of inflation over the previous year. Instead, Unite has said that the New Holland parent company, CNH offered a 4% increase for 2024, rather than the 7.4% that it should have in accordance to the earlier agreement.

For 2024, the company, which made profits of £2.4 (€2.81) billion in 2023, is offering the rate of inflation as of January 2024.

CNH is believed to have responded with a revised offer but is refusing to table it unless Unite agrees to recommend the deal to its members. Unite describe the response from the CNH Group as a “ploy” and an attempt to undermine the strike action. In a statement it said: “It (CNH) has also targeted Unite workplace reps by switching their shift times and roles as well as reducing hours for other staff.”

‘Massive profits’

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “CNH will not get away with its broken pay promises. It is making massive profits and the only reason the company is reneging on the deal is out and out corporate greed.

“No amount of double-dealing or attempts to undermine the strikes will work, CNH Basildon workforce will not back down and they have the full power of Unite supporting them.

“There is only one way that this dispute will be settled and that is for CNH to put forward an acceptable offer,” outlined Michelle Cook, Unite regional officer.

Meanwhile, the union reports that CNH Group CEO, Scott Wine received a total compensation package of £19m (€22.31m) in 2022, which was 310 times the pay of the average worker at CNH Group.