Offshore oil platform builder Amec Process and Energy issued notices last week warning of looming redundancy for all 706 staff at the Wallsend yard on Tyneside.
The workforce, which just months ago accepted a pay freeze, are just finishing a two-year, £400m platform contract.
Management issued the HR1 legal notice warning of mass redundancies if fresh orders are not found before the 11,500 tonne platform is completed in March.
Special projects engineer Louise King said: `The worst case scenario is that we will lose our jobs. We are looking for a new contract, not to close the yard.’
David Harrison of the AEEU called the news a tragedy for the region.
* Troubled heavy engineering firm Kvaerner is mothballing its Port Clarence rig building yard in Teesside with the loss of 600 jobs. The company is axing 3,000 jobs worldwide and has already sold its Govan shipyard to GEC Marconi.