January - Year starts with jobs losses

NISSAN announces it is cutting 1,200 jobs at its Washington factory after a "dramatic decline" in demand.

NISSAN announces it is cutting 1,200 jobs at its Washington factory after a "dramatic decline" in demand.

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.

THREE top executives at Newcastle housebuilder Bellway are under pressure to repay their £632,500 bonuses after shareholders voted against the payments, saying the company had not performed well enough to justify them.

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.

NEWCASTLE Building Society announces 150 redundancies on Tyneside and says more jobs may go, despite strenuous efforts to win more business.

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.

AN OFFSHORE wind revolution is said to be heading to the North East as experts predict the region is set to become the centre of a Europe-wide push for renewable energy technology.

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.

A TEESSIDE chemical plant is to close with the loss of 300 jobs as the dramatic decline in demand for big ticket items such as cars and carpets continues its unemployment ripple through the supply chain of the companies who make the goods.

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.

THE JOURNAL launches a new campaign Think North East First to support the North East through the global financial crisis.

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.

Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “We believe now’s the time for the North East to show its collective spirit and rally round for the good of the region.”

THE jobs of around 150 workers at a door manufacturer are saved after the company was bought by one of its competitors.

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.

THE creation of hundreds of North East jobs is hanging in the balance after the company behind a £300m contract to build oil rigs said it was moving the work out of the region.

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

My Year: Dale Athey, Chief Executive, Orla Protein Technologies Ltd
It has been an exciting year for Orla, despite difficult economic conditions. We recently launched a new company, OJ-Bio, a joint venture between Orla and Japan Radio Company, which will bring skilled jobs to the region. Orla continues to grow, thanks to ongoing support from One North East and funding partners. We continue to attract new customers for our products, forge business alliances in Japan and the following months will see us investigate new opportunities in the US.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer