Unions fear hundreds more will be lost in the supply chain as the car market drops 20% on 2008. The first supplier to report job losses is Sunderland-based company Unipres which says it is shedding 96 workers just a few weeks after telling 200 temporary workers they would no longer be needed. Later in the year the company will recruit 350 temporary workers as the Government scrappage scheme revives the market.
Bellway has vowed to review its remuneration policy in light of the vote and a major shareholder called for the money to be repaid, saying poor performance at the £640m company should be penalised and not rewarded.
At the company’s Newcastle AGM 58% of shareholders vote against the cost-cutting firm’s remuneration’s package which includes £275,000 for chief executive John Watson on top of his annual salary of £500,000.
The Newcastle’s decision stemmed partly from the closure of Icelandic internet bank Icesave following the collapse of its parent company Landsbanki last autumn. But the deepening recession which has led to a 50% fall in mortgage lending has also impacted on the business.
Thousands of jobs will be created on the North bank of the Tyne after American firm Clipper Windpower announced plans to build a new turbine construction factory on land owned by Shepherd Offshore. At the same time, the Government revealed a detailed study which suggests between 5,000 and 7,000 turbines could be built off the coast of the UK.
The Invista Textiles plant has been making nylon and polymer intermediaries since 1957 at Wilton near Redcar. It has survived previous economic downturns but this one looks like closing it for good.
Backers include Sir John Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, One North East, Newcastle and Sunderland football clubs, the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Nissan, Sir Peter Vardy, Beamish, transport group Go North East, Newcastle Falcons, the North East Chamber of Commerce, Northumbrian Water, and outdoor clothing retailer Berghaus.
A deal to secure the future of PC Henderson, of Bowburn, Durham, was finalised on New Year’s Eve – less than two weeks after all staff in the garage door division were put on notice of redundancy. Staff at the 90-year-old business are told a deal had been struck to sell the business to Nick Fibley, a private investor who owns Henderson’s main rival Cardale, of Brackley, Northamptonshire.
SeaDragon Offshore agreed two years ago to have the rigs built at the Haverton Hill shipyard in Billingham, and signed a contract with the Tees Alliance Group (TAG) of companies to complete the work. The huge contract was expected to create up to 800 jobs in TAG, and many more in the supply chain.
Page 2: My Year: Dale Athey, Chief Executive, Orla Protein Technologies Ltd