Around 90 staff at a major engineering company have been told their jobs could be going to Goa.
The news was revealed to workers yesterday at the Siemens plant in North Farm Road, Hebburn, South Tyneside.
Staff at Siemens Protection Devices, which employs 150 people, were told their work could be transferred to another company site in Goa, India.
Increased international competition in the energy protection market has been blamed for the move.
Although no jobs are under threat in the short-term, some redundancies could take effect over the next year.
However, bosses at Siemens have stressed that work on the massive £1.6bn Thameslinkcontract, set to create 300 jobs at the Hebburn plant, will not be affected by the proposal and that the long-term future of the site is secure.
The cuts are the result of the findings of what the German-owned company has called "global strategic review,” aimed at making the business “competitive in the future".
The GMB and Unite unions will be involved in formal consultation on any potential redundancies.
– Spokesman for Siemens
“Siemens plans to continue to design, develop, sell and technically support the Reyrolle product range at the Protection Devices facility in Hebburn.
“Research and development, product life cycle management, business development, marketing and business administration roles, together with a small workshop to cover repair, prototype, technical and quality support activities, will all remain at the facility.
“However, due to increased pressure from low-cost competitors worldwide, Siemens Energy Automation is proposing to consolidate its manufacturing sites into fewer locations.
“As a result, Siemens Protection Devices proposes a gradual transfer of the Reyrolle product portfolio, phased over two years, to an alternative site in Goa, India, concluding in 2015.
“While no roles are immediately at risk, regrettably, about 90 employees
involved in manufacturing activities at Siemens Protection Devices could potentially be affected.
“Siemens will now enter into a period of consultation on any potential redundancies, in accordance with the relevant employment legislation.
“If the proposals proceed, Siemens will endeavour to minimise any compulsory redundancies by finding alternative employment and re training opportunities for affected employees wherever possible within Siemens and externally.”