UP TO 55 more jobs will be cut at the JCB transmissions factory in Wrexham, it has emerged.
The company announced there will be 398 redundancies, consisting of 297 shopfloor jobs and 101 staff posts across the group.
The Wrexham factory, which employed around 500 workers at the beginning of the year, has already lost 110 jobs at the Wrexham industrial estate.
But last Thursday the GMB union confirmed that 32 of its members on the shopfloor will be among the next batch of redundancies and about 23 staff.
JCB blamed “the extreme deterioration in business levels and confidence around the world” for the cuts.
GMB regional organiser Mark Jones said: “We have already agreed to reduce the working week to 34 hours and we have just reduced the shop floor workforce by 12 voluntary redundancies and they have just gone this week.
“We were at a group meeting and they outlined their plans up to the first quarter of 2009 based on the order book and said that they need to reduce by a further 32 on the shopfloor at Wrexham.
“We have a situation where some customers may be trying to cancel their orders if they legally can, and some customers who say they still want the stuff but need to delay it.
“It’s a moving picture sadly and that picture tends to be more negative than positive.
“We agreed the 34 hour week to save jobs and I think it did, if we were on a 39 hour week the figures would be significantly increased. We have a meeting with the company to start negotiating the latest losses on Tuesday.”
But Mr Jones doubts all 32 this time will be voluntary redundancies.
JCB says the global credit crunch had led to a “significant reduction’’ in orders, particularly from previously buoyant markets including Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
Chief executive Matthew Taylor said further job cuts could not be ruled out.
Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, said: “I have met with both the company and trade union officials to discuss the ongoing effect that the economic downturn is having.
“I have today repeated my offer to JCB, to facilitate any approach they want to make to the Welsh Assembly Government for assistance, in light of these developments.”