JCB consults on further redundancies

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The deterioration in world market conditions began in the summer and has resulted in a big fall in machine orders.

The GMB union, which represents workers at JCB, has started a 45-day consultation process with the company.

The news follows an announcement in September that up to 400 UK jobs at JCB were at risk of redundancy as a result of the economic situation. Consultations over those redundancies continue.

In the first six months of the year, the market in Russia has dropped by 70%, Brazil by 36% and China by 47%. Parts of Europe are also struggling, with France down by 26%. Even the strong growth in the UK and North America has softened, prompted to an extent by a reduction in oil and commodity prices in countries that depend on these resources to drive economic growth.

JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “Manufacturers in the construction equipment industry are currently facing very tough trading conditions and we have to react to the current market reality to protect the long-term future of the business. Regrettably this means taking the very difficult decision to reduce the number of shop floor positions by up to 290 across the UK. As the global economy shows no sign of improving, the short-term outlook remains very challenging.”

Gordon Richardson, GMB works convenor for JCB, said: “This news is obviously very disappointing but it has been apparent now for some time that global markets have been declining. Our job as a trade union is to now work hard to formulate a plan to mitigate the impact of the proposed redundancies.”