Jobs fears for 70 workers at engineering firm as orders fall during oil price slump

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Fears are growing over 70 jobs in South Tyneside after a major employer entered into talks with workers over its future.

Premier Precision Engineering, based in Rolling Mill Road Jarrow, says it has suffered a slump in sales due to the global fall in oil prices.

We are trying to keep the company going.

Company spokesman

The company, which was set up in 1994 and employs more than 70 skilled workers, supplies precision machine components to the oil and gas industry.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that consultations are taking place with staff – with ‘all options’ being kept open.

The news is another bitter blow for the borough’s business community, coming hot on the heels of closure plans at two other major employers in Jarrow.

Essentra, a global filter product provider for the tobacco industry, is to close its site on Bede Industrial Estate, in Jarrow by the end of the year – as manufacturing is shifted to Hungary – with more than 200 workers being made redundant.

The company, which has been an integral part of the town’s economic landscape since 1948, cited a fall in cigarette sales in mainland Europe for the move.

Family-owned H Mullins (Earby) Ltd, of Western Road, Jarrow, a long-standing supplier for the defence industry, which once made parts for the iconic Spitfire fighter plane, closed its doors earlier this summer after more than 70 years in the town.

Meanwhile, the Shell UK oil terminal in Priory Road, Jarrow, also closed in July after more than 50 years of operation.

Bosses at Premier Precision Engineering say they are working hard to secure the firm’s future.

A spokesman for the company said:“We have entered into consultations with the workforce and are looking at all options.

“No decision has been made yet.

“We are in the oil and gas industry and the fall in oil prices has had a huge impact. We have had a dramatic reduction in orders.

“We are trying to keep the company going.

“We have a very good workforce that we are proud of.”