110 agency staff laid off at JCB
DOZENS more agency workers have been laid off at digger-maker JCB.
The Rocester-based firm has released around 110 employees, with those affected saying they were told it was due to a drop in global demand.
The Sentinel reported in July that JCB had laid off 200 agency staff – many of whom had been taken on just weeks before when the company announced it was looking for 350 new recruits.
This time workers say 61 jobs have gone from the Loadall unit at JCB's World Headquarters in Rocester, and another 50 from other departments at the plant.
One worker, who asked not be named, said: "I'd been working there nearly two years through the Blue Arrow agency – you would expect a bit of loyalty.
"They told us on Friday at about 11.15am and they made us stay until 7pm when our shifts finished, they didn't even have the decency to let us go home.
"They told us it was because of a drop in worldwide orders."
The dad-of-two, aged 50, of Longton, said workers were annoyed their severance pay was being spread out.
He said: "The agency won't pay us what they owe us in one lump sum, it's going to be spread over four weeks which means we can't sign on.
"And they said if you get another job you will lose that money, which I can't understand at all.
"It will add up to about £1,000 – our full wages for last week plus they are going to pay us just under half of our weekly wage for four weeks.
"We'll be getting minimum wage so about £6 per hour rather than £13, which means we'll be getting £180 a week rather than £420.
"On the fifth week they've said they'll give us any remaining pay that we're owed and our P45s."
JCB confirmed that a number of agency workers had been released.
The firm announced at the end of May that it was taking on up to 350 agency employees at its UK factories.
Most of the positions were available at JCB's World Headquarters in Rocester, JCB Earthmovers in Cheadle and JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter.
Jobs were also on offer at plants in Rugeley, Derbyshire and Wrexham.
But less than two months later JCB told around 200 agency workers based at Rocester that their services were no longer needed.
The firm said that although machine sales hit a record high during the first six months of 2012, global economic uncertainty was continuing to take its toll on demand.
JCB currently employs around 6,300 people in the UK, including more than 5,000 in Staffordshire.