JCB staff have voted for a cut in their working week in a bid to save 500 jobs under threat because of falling sales in the economic crisis.
Shop-floor workers at the construction equipment manufacturer gave the green light to a 34-hour week by a two-thirds majority.
The firm said the new working hours, starting from November for a minimum of six months, would save about two-thirds of the 500 posts. The change was necessary “to align its production with current demand”, JCB said.
About 430 jobs have already been axed at the company in recent months.
The decision affects more than 2,500 union members at seven JCB plants. The GMB union said it was delighted it had been able to save the jobs.
JCB is the latest in a number of companies to cut working hours because of falling sales or demand. Budget airline Ryanair and car maker Ford have both taken similar action in recent weeks.