Update: Wednesday 27th May 2020
The supplier who fills the sandwich and food machine has not yet resumed work. It will be possible to buy some cold snacks from the vending machines such as biscuits and crisps but there will be no other food available at work for the next few weeks. Please consider this when you are preparing to return to work.
Proposal to Temporarily Change Hourly Paid Members Hours during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Over recent weeks, Public Health England, the Health & Safety Executive & Unite the Union have issued guidelines on returning to the workplace following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Thankfully, your Senior Management have aligned with all recommendations possible during the shutdown.
However, a risk of cross contamination at shift Start & Finish times is yet to be resolved.
Your Senior Management Team, the Local Union Reps & Outside Officials have held discussions on how best to reduce this risk to compliment all the measures we have adopted on site.
We have therefore proposed to split each shift so as to leave a 30 minute gap between day shift and afternoon shift and a 20 minute gap between night shift and the other shifts they coincide with, please see below working patterns.
By doing this, it should ease fears of any cross over by members whilst clocking out, whilst members are entering the buildings and clocking in.
These new shifts will start immediately once an agreement has been made following a Ballot of the Union membership.
- All shifts reduce their working week by 2.5 hours per week to ensure 30 & 20 minute gap between shifts except Maintenance & Toolroom Dept. who’s handover is critical to the business operation.
- The company will share the cost of lost hours 50/50 with members the company standing 1.25hrs and the members 1.25 hrs of pay.
- These new shift patterns can only happen providing we have lower volume than usual.
- In the event volumes begin to rise or we cannot meet plan the company will have the flexibility to increase individual members hours back to the standard 37 hours provided the company deem it safe for the members to do so.
- For these members we will put in place, safe systems of work so that members are not crossing between the shifts.
- Barriers will only open for 30 min durations at 06:35-07:00, 15:00-15:30 & 23:30-00:00 hours except for deliveries.
If an agreement is reached this will not set a precedent going forward and is only temporary for the duration of Covid-19
This week certain members have been returning to work at our Derby site, we’ve been completing site inductions with these members and issuing their PPE. The social distancing measures that have been put in place are being adhered to and everyone is working safely.
We’ve been firming up plans of when our members will return to work and how we can manage your return as safely as possible. All members will be requested to return at different times and possibly different dates please do not be alarmed if you hear of someone returning earlier than yourself. Initially your first day will be for a Covid safety induction and to receive personal face masks, this will be followed by a plant tour so that you can visualise the distancing measures we have put in place and hopefully have further suggestions we can incorporate.
We have had many questions about shift patterns or part time working. We are working through the detail and volume for each customer and it may be necessary to furlough some members for longer than others – if you are one of those members affected you will be contacted directly by one of the Senior Team in due course. At all times throughout this crisis we have been in consultation with the union and works council and your Senior Team would like to thank them for their input and understanding whilst we have worked together.
In terms of planning for members return to work we have been in discussions with the Unions and Works council to ensure the safety of all members and your families.
One of the items that we want to make you aware of is that when you return to work, the use of the microwaves, kettles and toasters will be removed and will not be available for use. Also, we have removed all company owned crockery and cutlery from the canteen and group areas. The reason for this is that these are seen as high risk areas in terms of touch points and the ability to manage this risk.
Please be aware that fridges, vending facilities and water stations will still be available, but hygiene measures will be put in place to manage these.
Therefore, please consider these change points for managing your food and drink requirements while at work.
We understand that this may be an inconvenience but please be reassured that this has been done in conjunction with Unions and Works councils to ensure safety. Thank you for your ongoing support through this time.
In anticipation of returning to work on 26th May we have started deep cleaning at both sites. Please see the photos below. Service provided by Valley Cleaning Services.
Please see the letter below from Futaba President Yoshiki-san.
Following on from the Survey that we requested members to complete reference the communication on the Coronavirus situation – please find the status below of the feedback for the open question ‘What are your main concerns around returning to work?’ and “Final Comments” – We will give feedback on the other open questions following on from this. Once again – thank you for your continued support – Stay Safe!
FEEL SAFE AT WORK
During the furlough period, and continuing up until the point where you return to work, your SMT have been busy trying to transform the factory with regards to social distancing, to help give you the confidence that you will be safe while working.
Some of the work completed so far includes items such as:-
- Rearranging the canteen and group areas to ensure 2m distance at all times
- Floor marking to give a clear visual aid as to what an appropriate distance should be
- Setting up “one-way” systems to reduce congested traffic in walkways
- Increased signage related to 2m guidelines
- Additional anti-bacterial dispensers and cleaning wipes provisions
- Investment in attempting to source additional and different types of PPE
- Reviewing all processes where there is a heightened risk of social contact
Please check out some of the images of both sites work completed so far, and updates will be made to the website where required.
In the meantime, Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives!
We look forward to seeing you back at FMUK in the near future.
1. Return to Work
At this time, we do not expect production to start again until Tuesday 26th May – As stated previously we will keep members updated by text and website once this has been confirmed.
We have had a few questions with reference to the reason for the utilisation of a weeks holiday prior to start up – please see below for the clarification of the reason for this based on discussions with the Union and Works Council:
- Holidays have continued to accrue and no holiday entitlement has been taken while on Furlough – this causes the company an issue of overburden of holidays and the ability for members to take them once production starts again.
- The week before production starts we will need a ‘skeleton’ crew of members on site to get the factory ready for production – we cannot do this while members are on Furlough.
- A weeks holiday will enable members to be paid 100% of wages.
- Due to Furlough – all members have an additional 2 days holiday that have been accrued due to Good Friday and Easter Monday.
- There will be no option to take this week as unpaid leave.
As the period of shutdown to our business has extended once again, the Senior Management Team has taken the decision to ensure all our members utilise a week’s holiday from the 2020 allocation to be taken the week prior to commencing production, this would be paid at your full 100% holiday rate.
As a re-start date of May 26th is currently our best guess, and yet to be confirmed, the period of this holidays is subject to change but would be no earlier than Monday 18th May to Friday 22nd May (4.5 days allocation for Burnley or 5 days allocation for Derby). Please note that Good Friday & Easter Monday are not classed as holidays due to Furlough so this will reduce the impact to your annual allocation by 2 days respectively.
As always after a significant production stoppage, there will be a request for skeleton staff to be called in to help with preparing for start-up, and as such they would be paid in full, from the point they were requested back to work.
Please note, if the re-start date to production extends further, so will the Holiday commencement date. Please follow the link below for the calendar.
2. Customer Feedback
We are communicating weekly with TME to understand all Toyota production situations – this is being closely monitored by region and priority is member safety.
JLR are currently closed, awaiting further update from them.
Magna – closed until 18th May
Piolax – closed until May
Nissan – closed until May
3. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Since the video message from Kevin Schofield (Managing Director FMUK) was issued on 27th March – we have been actively working on the Government Coronavirus job retention scheme.
This scheme enables employers to place members on ‘Furlough leave’, this means that employees can be put on a leave of absence from the company, and the company can claim for 80% of the employees usual monthly average wage costs, up to a maximum £2500 per month gross, which will be paid directly to each member.
For the number of employees at FMUK, we need to process this through a collective agreement. As part of this the following steps are being taken:
- FMUK’s formal collective agreement regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was issued to the employee representatives at both sites following agreement from the company solicitors yesterday.
- Salaried members – Collective agreement accepted by nominated representative.
- Hourly paid members – Collective agreement accepted by nominated representative
- All members that opted out of the loan scheme offfered by FMUK will be paid 80% this week.
On our video message today from Kevin he had a request that, although you are all Furloughed if you contracted the virus or was hospitalised through the virus to please inform the absence line via a family member if you are too ill to ring yourself. We need this information to assess our return to work risk assessment so please keep us informed.
4. Futaba Support for Local Charities
Burnley have supported Pendle Hospice with donating some of our PPE, this was welcomed by the Hospice in these difficult times for the staff.
Derby have also provided Goggles and gloves to Burton Hospital and we are in contact with both Derby and Burton Hospital to understand how we can support more.
As mentioned previously both plants are making a £100 donation per week to local charities during this difficult time:
Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity – https://www.justgiving.com/dhft
Burnley food bank – Support Burnley’s Foodbank – JustGiving
5. Any Other Business
We will regularly update the frequently asked questions on this website.
Please contact the absence line on 01282 446541 with any additional queries and we will respond as soon as possible.
Please remember to keep us informed via the absence line if you have contracted the virus – please stay safe.
For members of the Sports and social club, it has been agreed to stop the fees in light of the current situation from 30th March.
Please see the government website for the latest advice: