Workers at a Hartlepool plastics factory face an uncertain future after it unveiled plans to cut more than a quarter of its workforce.
Plastics manufacturer Coveris makes coin and cash bags for banks and shops at its site in Skerne Road.
The firm has unveiled plans to cut up to 35 of the 126 jobs at the site and blamed a sharp fall in demand for its products as a result of the rise of on-line shopping and contactless payment methods.
Bosses released a statement outlining the reasons for the decision and said the move was an attempt to safeguard the long-term future of the site.
A spokesman said: “As the UK’s leading manufacturer of cash and coin bags, Coveris’ Hartlepool site has seen a significant reduction in volume over recent years following the sustained decline of cash transactions, which have fallen by around 30 per cent in the UK since 2009, due to the increased use of card payments and the emergence of contactless and mobile payment technology.
“Following the sustained losses within the banking sector, Coveris Hartlepool have today entered into a consultation period with staff at the North East facility with a view to discussing the reduction of roles within the business.
“By addressing the volume decline through operational and administrative reductions, Coveris will secure the speciality bag making business for the future as it looks to diversify into other market segments outside the financial services sector.”
Hartlepool general manager Simon Rowe said: “Everyone in the company has worked tirelessly over recent months to help prepare for this significant reduction in sales which we first saw coming at the end of 2015.
“As a business we are trying hard to recover but this will take many months to rebuild the base following the loss of our banking customers and consequently we are forced into this redundancy consultation process.
“We have been established for 60 years and have many very talented individuals working for us.
“This is a very sad day for everyone at the plant here in Hartlepool.”