Union leaders have condemned plans to close a battery factory with the loss of 400 jobs.
Unite said workers at the Exide plant in Bolton felt “angry and betrayed” that a business plan aimed at retaining production through the current recession had been rejected by the American-owned company.
National officer John Rowse said: “It seems ludicrous that a company supplying a range of products powering electric vehicles should be closing at a time when demand for this technology is growing.
“It is true that lead/acid batteries are not leading-edge but they still have an important role to play powering a variety of off-road electric vehicles.
“This closure will see the end of heavy-duty battery cell production in the UK. Already our submarine fleet is powered by batteries imported into the UK when production ceased at Exide’s competitor’s plant in Swinton, Manchester.”
The union is balloting its members at the site over the company’s “inadequate” redundancy and closure payments.