Page last updated at 19:43 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 20:43 UK

Fifty jobs going at digger sites

JCB digger
JCB says the credit crunch has contributed to a decline in orders

About 50 jobs will be lost at digger firm JCB's plants in Wrexham after it announced a redundancy programme in response to a rapid decline in orders.

A total of 56 jobs have already been lost at the two sites in the last year.

The losses are part of a programme in which around 650 positions will go across the UK.

The GMB union said a 30-day consultation period would be extended until 2 September to account for a planned three-week shut down in August.

Mark Jones, regional organiser for the union, added that the news was not entirely unexpected because JCB had said when the last round of redundancies were revealed that it would not be making any further announcements until after the planned shut down.

However, this new round of job cuts had come sooner than expected, he said.

Credit crisis

JCB's two Wrexham plants produce axles and transmissions and about 520 people are currently employed there.

The latest losses follow the firm's announcement in May that it had shed 26 positions in Wrexham due to a downturn in demand.

Matthew Taylor, JCB group chief executive, said the global credit crisis and rising raw material costs had badly affected the construction sector which had a knock on affect for the firm.

"These job losses are regrettable but absolutely necessary to ensure that JCB remains competitive and well-positioned to benefit from any market upturn," he said.

"However, we do not expect to see a recovery until late 2009 at the earliest."

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