A FIRM that axed 300 staff has let go of another 70 – while another hopes to generate 60 jobs with a multimillion-pound expansion.
Caterpillar in Peterlee announced the 70 temporary employees were to go on Friday as it reduced its workforce to meet a fall in the demand for its trucks.
The move was made just weeks after it cut 300 other agency staff.
A company spokesman said: “Economic growth and demand from customers around the world has not reached expected levels.
“After a good start to 2012, projected production volumes for our products are lower than we previously expected.
“There are continuing concerns and uncertainty about the pace of world economic growth, short-term economic risks in the US, the Eurozone debt crisis, and the slowing in China’s growth.
“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) Ltd 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.”
Meanwhile, automotive firm Mecaplast, on the same business park, offered the town a jobs boost if plans to increase the size of its factory get the go ahead.
Mecaplast, in Fiennes Road on the North West Industrial Estate, could add another 60 staff to its already 90-strong team if it is given permission to extend the site.
The proposals include a covered loading area, two new floors of storage, office accommodation and a new access road.
The firm, which makes plastic injection moulded parts for the car industry, is a supplier to Nissan, Toyota and General Motors and expects to make a turnover of £18million by 2014, about double last year, and predicts it will settle at £16million in 2016.
TRW Automotive Systems in Mill Hill has also applied to the council to set up a new warehouse, with a decision over that scheme also to be made by the council’s planning committee.