Lafarge cement works in Dunbar plans to implement short-term lay-offs of staff at times of low demand.
Cement bosses stress temporary redundancies would be a "last resort" and the radical measure, which has been approved by staff and unions, has been undertaken to cut costs in the face of turbulent economic conditions due to the recession.
Staff are also being approached about taking early retirement while a pay freeze will be introduced this year.
Works manager Nigel Blair said: "The cement industry is facing extremely challenging economic conditions due to the recession and its impact on construction.
"As a result, while we have been making every effort to minimise costs - for example only using contractors for specialist work and instead using our own workforce at downtimes for maintenance, examining all procurement processes with a view to cost control, and looking to reduce energy bills - additional measures have become necessary.
"While the provision for lay-offs is a last resort, it will remain an option over the next three years from January 1; however, we can now confirm that there will be no lay-offs over January, February or March this year.