Threat to jobs at Dewhirst

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ABOUT 130 jobs at a clothing firm are at risk amid plans for a major retailer to cut it from its supply chain.

 Staff at Dewhirst, in Peterlee, have been told that there is potential for redundancies at its factories in Stephenson Road and Whitehouse Way.

 About 30 jobs at the Dewhirst factory in Hendon, Sunderland, are also at risk.

 The news comes as Marks & Spencer, a major client which has worked with Dewhirst for 128 years, plans to have goods shipped direct from Dewhirst’s overseas factories, including Cambodia and Indonesia, rather than from the east Durham warehouses.

 A concerned worker contacted Easington MP Grahame Morris, who has vowed to take the matter to Parliament.

 Mr Morris said: “This is a terrible outcome for all those who face losing their jobs at Dewhirst in Peterlee.

 “Marks & Spencer’s insistence on direct supply from foreign factories, regardless of any financial incentive to do so, is a counterproductive move for the UK economy, British business and jobs.”

 A Dewhirst spokesman said: “We have made an announcement to all our staff in the North-East that there is a potential that redundancies will result out of a review of the dispatch and warehousing facilities on these sites.

 “We have also informed the union but have not got to a stage of formal consultation at this moment, though this is pretty imminent.”