JCB AXES MORE JOBS! – despite £50 a week GMB wage cut deal

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more than 3,300 jobs were axed or came under threat yesterday as prime minister Brown held his much-heralded ‘jobs summit’ with bosses and union leaders to promote Labour’s workfare plans.

As Brown said he would take measures to fill an alleged 500,000 vacancies, logistics giant Wincanton announced the closure of two depots with the loss of 1,000 jobs, while the administrators running Waterford Wedgwood announced 367 redundancies.

JCB, where the GMB union agreed £50 wage cuts to save jobs, announced a further 684 redundancies in the UK ‘primarily as a result of the lack of credit available from banks to fund machine purchases and continuing low confidence’.

Furniture chain Land of Leather went into administration after running out of working capital, leaving its workforce of 850 people facing an uncertain future.

Newcastle Productions, which makes Findus frozen foods, also went into administration threatening another 420 jobs.

And London-based auction house Christie’s warned staff that it will have to make ‘significant redundancies’ following a decline in demand.

Meanwhile, Brown unveiled a £2,500 windfall for companies which take on someone who has been unemployed for more than six months.

The leader of the UK’s biggest union, Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson, praised Brown and his workfare programme.

Claiming the summit was ‘a historic opportunity’, he said: ‘Gordon Brown is focused on doing what it takes to support jobs and the economy.

‘Unite believes its time to begin a new era of co-operation between government, business and unions, which focuses on strategic intervention to support the growth of jobs and the economy.’

Brown’s ‘new measures’ are ‘more intensive help to those who are out of work and guaranteeing education or training for all school leavers’.

He highlighted £500m to be spent on providing recruitment subsidies for employers, financial help for new business start-ups and ‘enhanced training opportunities’ for those out of work.

There would be ‘extensive’ job interview training for people unemployed for three months or more, and they would have to sign on weekly for benefit payments.

Brown added that more details of measures such as the school-leaver’s guarantee will be included in a White Paper on opportunities to be released later this week.

This will be driven by arch-Blairite Alan Milburn who has been brought back to frontline politics to privatise public services and provide them with a cheap labour workforce.