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Caterpillar staff asked to do charity work as production stops

Staff at Caterpillar's Leicestershire plant have been asked to do charity work and training for four weeks as production stops due to a sharp drop in orders.

Production at the plant in Desford will halt for the last two weeks in February and the final two weeks of March. The 570 shopfloor workers at the firm's Building Construction Products (BCP) division will continue on full pay during the periods and will undergo various training courses as well as charitable and community-based activities.

There has been a string of cutbacks at the company in recent months, which have seen 320 temporary staff laid off at its Building Construction Products (BCP) division in June, and the company axed around 120 jobs the following month.

In a statement the company said the planned non-production periods were "a result of the need to lower our production volumes to take account of the much-reduced demand for BCP machines. Non-production periods at BCP Leicester, as a result of unfavourable market conditions, have not happened in recent times."