JCB, the digger people, are to axe a further 684 jobs because of the lack of available credit and continuing low confidence.
The firm has now cut nearly 1,700 jobs since the summer and this latest move will affect the company’s headquarters in Rocester, where 400 jobs are going as well as JCB Cab Systems in Rugeley and Uttoxeter-based JCB Heavy Products, plus JCB Earthmovers, Cecilly Mills, and JCB Compact Products.
JCB chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “”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.
“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.”
The company said its total business was down 75% on the same period last year. In October staff voted for a shorter 34-hour week to protect jobs.