FACTORY workers have been left devastated after being told the axe will fall on 23 jobs.
Hanson Building Products, on the former Marshall Clay Products site on Whinney Hill Road, Huncoat, is set to get rid of its entire nightshift - a quarter of its workforce - on 6 October.
Bosses at the firm, which makes the world-famous Nori bricks, have blamed the cutbacks on a slump in the market caused by a lack of new houses being built.
Spokesman David Weeks said: "We are looking at the worst period for new houses for the past 30 years and this is not just a problem here, it is nation-wide.
"We have had piles of bricks building up in the yards and we don't know what to do with them."
Last year, the factory laid-off dozens of workers for nearly a month as a result of a fall in demand by 12 to 15 per cent within the year.
At the time it was hoped this would remedy the problem,
But bosses say the situation has not improved and they have been forced to resort to redundancies.
Mr Weeks said: "We were hoping last year that things would pick up by 2007 as the Government was promising that new houses would be built.
"Unfortunately that has not happened.''
Hansons plc has also had to close two of its factories in Essex and Nottingham in a bid to combat the slump in demand.
Mr Weeks added that redundancy packages for the affected workers were still being negotiated.