A STAFFORD engineering firm has axed 124 temporary contacts and is looking to lay off 43 more full-time staff, a month after shedding 131 members of agency staff.
Workers at Perkins Engines were told they were no longer needed this week as the company continues to shed staff, cut costs and fight for survival in a competitive global market.
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said the timing of the latest cuts was particularly concerning.
“One of my staff was speaking to an agency worker who heard that he had lost his job whilst Christmas shopping,” said Mr Lefroy. “He was forced to put his shopping back on the shelves following the news.”
A spokesman for the firm said: “Uncertainty in the global economy has had an impact on our customers' businesses and consequently we are experiencing lower than anticipated production volumes at our Stafford facility.”
She said the company had launched a voluntary severance programme and was looking for 40 applicants from current hourly employees and a further three from salaried and managed employees.
“In addition, we are releasing 124 temporary workers from our Stafford facility throughout December and January,” she said.
She warned compulsory redundancy might prove necessary if not enough employees came forward for the voluntary programme.
The job losses comes a month after the organisation laid off 131 agency workers from the Tixall Road plant and less than a year after the firm announced 60 new permanent jobs, 40 temporary positions and added a third manufacturing production line to its Stafford site saying it would ensure “a stronger future for our employees and help our customers maintain their competitiveness.”
An angry former employer posting on the Newsletter’s website said: “This wasn't a surprise to the management at Perkins Engines.
“As an ex-agency employee at the Stafford site, we had regular meetings telling us that our jobs were safe and that there was nothing to worry about,” he said. “Yet again this is a case of a Massive World Class Company not giving a damn about the little people on the shop floor.
“Fortunately for me I left before this happened.
“My thoughts are with my friends who are now unemployed before Christmas.”
Mr Lefroy said his office was in contact with the agency that employs many of the staff who had lost their jobs and that his team were working hard to try and help them find new jobs.
“As this is the second major set of redundancies in a matter of months, it is only natural that the workforce will be unsettled,” said Mr Lefroy. “I will also, therefore, be seeking assurances from Perkins regarding the future.”