About 500 Guidant staff, who work at JCB’s UK locations, are also laid off. JCB said jobs were at risk “because of the serious disruption to JCB’s activities from the Covid-19 crisis, which will see annual production cut in half.”
Graeme Macdonald, CEO of JCB, said the business climate meant that the company “had no choice but to make tough decisions to adapt to this new economic reality.”
“JCB had to act quickly for the long-term survival of the business,” he said. “In 2020, we planned to sell and produce more than 100,000 machines. With so much global uncertainty, that number currently looks like over 50,000 machines.
“Therefore, we have no choice but to align our cost base with demand for the rest of the year. No company could have predicted the extent of the Covid-19 crisis and its economic consequences. It is deeply unfortunate that we had to take these steps to restructure the business and that it has affected so many people. “
JCB employs around 6,700 people in the UK, either directly or through agencies. The majority of its employees are currently on leave until the end of May, after production stopped in March, when the country went into lockout.
The Chancellor announced this week that the leave scheme would be extended until the end of October, but from August employers will have to pay part of the wages of their workers on leave.
Macdonald added: “The government’s taxpayer-supported job retention program, which was a temporary measure that has seen most British employees on leave since the start of April, was never going to be able to to maintain employment in companies facing such reduced demand levels. . “
The family business is run by Lord Bamford, billionaire donor Tory. The company was founded by his father, Joseph Cyril Bamford, in 1945 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. About 85% of its products are exported.
Commenting on the announcement, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “JCB is preparing to throw 1,500 workers under the bus just as the government is asking employers to pay their fair share to protect workers. jobs and keep the heads of loyal workers out of the water. . “