Brickmakers lay off workers

Britain’s biggest brickmakers have laid off more than 1,200 workers
and started to send home hundreds more on a temporary basis as the housing crisis takes its toll on the supplies sector. Hanson has axed 600 staff as it permanently closed two plants, mothballed two others and plans to either halt output for three months or take out shifts at four. The company, owned since last year by HeidelbergCement, already has 500 million bricks stockpiled at yards around the country, equal to sales it might expect in 2016. ‘We believe there will be further reductions in demand by the middle of next year and we do not predict any upturn until the middle or end of 2017,’ said a Hanson spokesman.