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JCB cuts 1,500 jobs

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JCB is to lay off nearly 1,000 people at its UK factories. Five hundred agency jobs are also affected.

The company said the move, which will hit more than a fifth of its total UK workforce, is necessary because of a 50% fall in global demand due to Covid-19. The news comes just a week after the manufacturer announced a partial restart of production.

Chief executive Graeme Macdonald said the company had planned to sell more than 100,000 machines this year but added: “With so much global uncertainty, that figure right now is looking more like 50,000 machines.

“In the UK, around 85% of everything we manufacture is exported and our UK factories will now produce machines at half the rate we had planned just a few months ago. As a result, we have no choice but to align our cost base to demand for the rest of the year.

“JCB has had to act quickly for the long-term survival of the business, which has been at the heart of our decision-making throughout this difficult period.”

The company halted production on March 18 and most of the 6,500 employees have been furloughed since April. Production resumed last week at a low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural equipment.

A 45-day consultation period on the lay-offs began today.

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 18/5/2020