More jobs go at Caterpillar

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AN MP has described news that almost 70 jobs are to go at one of the region’s biggest companies as “hugely disappointing”.

The temporary workers have been told they are no longer needed by Caterpillar Logistics, in Pease Road, Peterlee.

Caterpillar says it took the decision after the economy and its order book failed to grow at the levels expected.

Easington MP Grahame Morris said the Government should be doing more to stimulate growth for struggling North-East firms.

Mr Morris described the news, which comes just weeks after 300 agency workers lost their jobs, as “hugely disappointing”.

In August there was also 71 temporary stall laid off from the site after being told the bad news just an hour after reporting for their shift.

Mr Morris said: “Caterpillar is very important to the local economy and the supply chain.

“The company is experiencing a dramatic fall in its order book. I would like to see the Government more proactive in assisting the North East and important companies like Caterpillar by stimulating demand and helping it to win new business at home and abroad.

“I am in contact with Unite the union and will do all I can to support the workforce who are going through a really tough time.”

Despite a good start to the year, Caterpillar says future projections for its products are not as high as expected.

It adds there are continuing concerns and uncertainty about the world economy, short term economic risks in the US, the Eurozone debt crisis, and a slowdown in China’s growth.

A spokesman for Caterpillar said: “As a result, we are continuing to take actions in order to adjust production levels to better align with these circumstances.

“As a result of these factors, Caterpillar Logistics (UK) has released approximately 70 temporary workers employed by Randstad, who previously provided logistics services to support manufacturing from their base at Pease Road.

“We regret the need to take this action but we need to align our workforce with production volumes and continue to position our business to be successful in the long-term.”

Steve Cason, regional officer for Unite, said: “We are bitterly disappointed. It is the lead up to Christmas and these are all families.

“Because they are agency workers they just seem to be expendable without the need for consultation.

“What we want to see is local people directly employed. When they are just let go with a day or so’s notice it is a bombshell.”