LONDON (AP) -- British construction equipment maker JCB said Thursday it will cut almost 400 jobs, announcing the losses just a month after 2,500 of its workers agreed to reduced pay and hours in a bid to save their positions.
The company, which manufactures excavators, loaders, and tractors, also said that it would slash output at its British factories for the last two months of the year by more than a third and that it intends to maintain the lowered production levels into the first quarter of 2009.
It said the cut of 398 jobs, representing about 5 percent of its global work force, was due to "the extreme deterioration in business levels and confidence around the world," while the output reduction was prompted in part by the crash of the previously buoyant market for its goods in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Several weeks ago, 2,500 members at seven JCB plants across Britain agreed to a four-day work week and reduced pay in an effort to save their jobs.
The deal was organized by British union GMB and facilitated by the government. There was no immediate comment from the union.
The Rocester, England-based JCB, short for J C Bamford Excavators Ltd., is Europe's largest maker of construction equipment.