Digger maker JCB has announced its latest round of job cuts. Six-hundred-and-eighty-four staff will now join a thousand from last year on the firm’s ever-growing redundancy list.
The decision is another blow to the Staffordshire region, which anticipates losing around 1,100 jobs at Waterford Wedgwood from where it knows for sure it will lose 367, as was revealed yesterday. Most of JCB’s cuts are to be made there; from plants in Rocester, Rugeley and Uttoxeter. The rest of the cuts are being made in Derbyshire, Wrexham and Stockport.
This move comes after the staff agreed to go on to short-hours in October – in a bid to protect their jobs. And this made the pill even harder to swallow for union official Joe Morgan, representing the staff on behalf of GMB. “Our members have done everything possible, including sharing the misery, to try to avoid further job losses,” he said.
JCB chief executive Matthew Taylor said if action was not taken to reinvigorate bank lending to businesses there will be further grim repercussions across the manufacturing industry.
“The ongoing reluctance of the banks to provide credit is aggravating an economic downturn which is now becoming much steeper than we could have ever envisaged,” he said. “This unprecedented situation needs to be addressed with some urgency so that confidence and stability can return, otherwise irreparable damage will be caused to the UK’s manufacturing industry.”
Five-hundred-and-ninety-three of the cuts are to be suffered by production staff.