UK workers’ union Unite has warned that tractor shortages could result from its members' plans to strike at the New Holland plant in Basildon, Essex.

Over 500 workers are gearing up to strike at the CNH Industrial factory over pay, with Unite alleging that the tractor manufacturer reneged on a pay deal agreed in 2022.

The first of nine planned strike days has been proposed for 14 May, which the union has said will “severely compromise” the supply of New Holland tractors.

The union stated that this deal provided for pay increases to be calculated on average annual inflation.

Pay rise

However, it claims that the employer is only offering a 4% pay rise for 2024, which would equate to December’s rate of inflation and not the 7.4% rate which was the average across all months last year.

CNH Group reported a profit of £2.4bn in 2023 and is forecasting a strong financial performance over the next few years, according to Unite.

The union said that the group’s CEO Scott Wine received compensation totalling £19m in 2022, which equates to 310 times the average worker’s salary.

“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,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham commented.

“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.”