950 jobs at risk at JCB

JCB Telescopic Handlers

Digger giant JCB says that 950 jobs could go at its UK factories after demand for its products fell by 50% because of the coronavirus crisis.

The roles could be axed at its Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Wrexham plants. Some 500 agency workers are also being relieved of their roles.

JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “In 2020 we had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines. With so much global uncertainty, that figure right now is looking more like 50,000 machines. In the UK, around 85 per cent 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.

“It is deeply regrettable that we have had to take these steps to restructure the business and that it will have an impact on so many people. No business could have anticipated the scale of the Covid-19 crisis and its economic consequences. 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.”