For Duncan Simpson, the closure of the Ryton car factory is personal.
Duncan, now aged 66, spent 33 years working for the three companies - Rootes, Chrysler and Peugeot - which owned the factory in Coventry.
Born in Glasgow, his family moved to Coventry when he was only a few weeks old.
He gave up an apprenticeship as a fitter to join the then Rootes company in 1958, and only retired two and a half years ago.
At one point, he was the Amicus union's national motor industry officer but also spent time as convenor at Peugeot and worked for the company before becoming a full time union official in 1990.
He said: "I worked for three companies; Rootes of England, Chrysler of America and Peugeot of France.
"Apart from being another nail in the coffin of the British motor industry, this is personal. Peugeot was my life, most of my working life was spent there with that company.
"From my days with the union I was used to car factories going - I saw the end of car production at Ford and the end of Vauxhall at Luton. The pain and suffering when a car plant closes is not unusual to me.
"This one is just as painful, but it has hit much me much harder. I worked here, I live here, I talk to the people who are losing their jobs at the pub."
When Duncan joined the company, the Midland car industry was in its pomp, paying better wages than other industries.
He said: "Because the wages were so high, I gave up my apprenticeship to go and work for Rootes. I had friends who worked there and it was close to where I lived.
"It was a good place to work, but it was hard work; there was very little auto-mation. Most of the work was done with spanners.
"They were all totally different. When I joined Rootes, I worked at the Stoke plant, making engines for the Hillman Minx."
The pay at Rootes was linked to productivity with workers paid for piece work. This led to peaks and troughs.
"It was not unusual to have periods of short time working, especially in the winter. But there would be overtime in the summer which helped make up for it."
But there was always "a lot of conflict" between the management and the work-ers during the Rootes days, said Duncan.
"There were a lot of disputes about wage, and there would be wildcat strikes. Even the most minor thing could set it all off.
"Sometimes it would be over demarcation. There could be an argument between an electrical and mechanical engineer about who does what.
"The mechanical engineer may have been able to fix a machines, but he had to wait two or three hours for the electrical engineer to come along to isolate the machine, which meant production was lost while we waited for it to be fixed.
"But if it had been sorted without the electrical engineer, there would have been a strike.
"With hindsight it was absolutely stupid."
On the other hand, Duncan said, the management was hardly blameless with many union officials victimised and dismissed.
"I think the blame should be shared. If anything, if industrial relations are to work, the onus should be on the company to set an example.
"Some of the disputes could have been avoided."
When Chrysler took over in 1967, there was a feeling of hope after years of short time working and initially the omens were good.
The conclusion of a deal to move from piece work to measured day rates was agreed. In return for accepting the change, the workers were awarded with a handsome pay deal.
"We hit the headlines because we were the first #2,000-a-year car workers in Britain. We led the industry at that point," said Duncan.
But the situation soon deteriorated, especially when the company began to hit problems with quality and sales.
"Whenever new owners come in, there is always a feeling of hope. But there were so many problems with Chrysler.
"We used to say that we had so many crises the company be called Crisis UK rather than Chrysler UK.
"There was one occasion where someone was disciplined for refusing to fit faulty parts to the cars. That led to a strike."
Eventually Chrysler negotiated directly with Harold Wilson's Labour Government to bail out the firm, or risk closing down completely with the loss of up to 30,000 jobs at its plants at Ryton and Stoke in Coventry, Linwood in Scotland, Barnstaple and Luton.
"They offered the Wilson Government #35 million if they would take the company off their hands, or they needed bailing out.
"I think Wilson said it was like a pistol being held to his head. Eventually the Government came in with a #162.5 million rescue package."
The shop stewards in Coventry were angry they had not been party to the talks, and a bus-load of shop stewards travelled to London to gatecrash the talks at the Department of Industry.
Eventually a deal was struck to bail out the company, while another planning agreement was sealed between Chrysler and the unions to work together better in the future and consult on future decisions - an achievement Duncan said was a breakthrough in industrial relations.
Ryton bore a heavy cost, as part of the deal involved the movement of the Avenger from the factory to Linwood, with the loss of several thousand jobs.
But the consultation agreement counted for nothing when Chrysler sold the company to Peugeot of France for $1 in 1978.
"There were very little if any consultations. I think I found out from the media we had been sold."
Meanwhile the French had a very different way of running the company from the Americans.
"If there was a dispute, the Americans tended to buy their way out of it, which made things tougher.
"Even when we agreed a deal on pay for example, some departments would hold out for more money.
"So the Americans would buy their way out of it, which created problems in the future."
Duncan said the attitude of the French towards the unions was particularly negative.
"Their attitude was anything but cooperative. I have been a national officer in this industry and worked with Ford, the Japanese, the Americans, and the attitude of Peugeot was one of the most negative.
"If Peugeot made a decision, there was no way they would deviate from it, unlike Ford or Vauxhall who might acknowledge the unions had a point. "Peugeot was very inflexible and sometimes this got to ridiculous levels."
Duncan highlighted one wage dispute where, at the eleventh hour before industrial action was due to start, Peugeot called in the union reps for a meeting.
"They slightly changed the offer and we were prepared to put it to the workforce in a vote while the industrial action was shelved.
"But they argued with us over the wording on the question. First it was 'Are you prepared to accept the company's improved offer?' But Peugeot didn't like that because they thought it showed weakness. So it changed to 'Are you prepared to accept the company's amended offer?' But still Peugeot wasn't very happy.
"The management would talk to their bosses in France who would reject both, because they thought it looked like Peugeot had given in.
"ACAS was called in, but the dispute went on and it became absolutely ridiculous and ended up costing everyone money and production because of the company's stubbornness and stupidity."
The changes brought in under Peugeot were the most radical and far reaching in the European motor industry, said Duncan.
The move to annualised hours and compulsory over-time meant the firm could manage its production levels more efficiently.
Under the agreement, the first in Britain, the staff worked extra hours for which they were not paid, with the hours 'banked'.
During the quieter periods, they would not work but be paid from the bank of hours they had built up during the course of the year - a practice which has become standard in the industry.
Other areas included multi-skilling the workforce so there were no longer the disputes between electrical and mechanical engineers which had plagued the old days.
After years of disputes, the workers agreed to the changes allowing productivity and quality levels to rise.
"The workers deserved more.
"After all the sacrifices they have made, it is an absolute sin how Peugeot has treated them."
Best thing about working there is your workmates
Fintan Collins will be one of the last workers to leave Ryton when he finishes a pensions meeting on Thursday.
He finished work on Monday, completing the body welding on the last 206 to be built at the site - an SW estate version of the car of which 1.3 million were produced at Ryton.
It will be a sad day for the 37-year-old who started as a Peugeot Talbot apprentice after leaving school at the age of 16 in 1985.
He moved from the Stoke plant later to work in the 'body-in-white' (welding) department three years later.
He said: "There was always a gang of us who had joined at the same time, and there were lots of different characters.
"Many of us have been together for almost 20 years. That was the best thing about working there, the people, your workmates."
But he admitted there were some bad times especially during the 1990s when the Japanese factories in the UK started to make an impact.
"Some of the management could be oppressive. They imposed a lot of measures to make us more combative, and people were prepared to make sacrifices to keep the factory going. But the company was never very happy, and went too far in some cases. Some people are still bitter."
One particular bone of contention was abolishing the day and night shift and replacing them with a split shift.
The new day shift started at 6am and ran until 4.15pm, while the the night shift ran from 4.15pm to 2.30am.
"There is a massive difference between starting at 7am and 6am, and this meant that instead of having one nightmare week and one alright week, every week became a nightmare.
"The company only did it to avoid having to pay the night shift premium of 33.3 per cent. Instead they paid and early and late premium of 15 per cent - saving themselves 3.3 per cent."
Fintan was coming back from a charity canoe trip on the River Severn when he heard about the closure.
"Someone from the media phoned me, it was quite a quite a shock. The company had always denied the rumours we were going to close.
"No one thought it was going to go on for ever, but it was still a shock. Maybe we were a bit naive, but we were a profitable plant."