Digger maker JCB has announced it is cutting 398 UK jobs due to "extreme deterioration in business levels and confidence".
The news comes after nearly 200 jobs were cut at the Staffordshire-based firm earlier this year. The remaining workforce agreed to a 34 hour week by a two-thirds majority. The latter agreement brought the first round of redundancies down from an original estimate of over 500. JCB is cutting production by 34 per cent for the remainder of the year.
JCB’s downturn results from a slowdown in previously prosperous Eastern Europe export markets.
JCB chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “The level of business we are doing out in the markets right around the world has dropped very dramatically after the torrid financial times in September.”
The firm said these latest cuts should suffice though “If it gets even worse than that then, at the end of the day, we will have to take another hard look at that.”
The latest job cuts will turn 297 staff from the factory-floor and 101 other staff posts towards the classified sections.
In July the firm reported a 20 per cent downward revision of its profit forecasts for 2008.