A long-established Birmingham factory is to close and 200 jobs lost in a “devastating” pre-Christmas blow for workers.
Tucker Fasteners, of Walsall Road, Perry Barr, has been earmarked for shutdown with production switched to a site in Germany.
The axe has been wielded by US-based parent group Stanley, Black and Decker despite major investment in the plant in recent years.
Tucker was founded in 1903 and the factory supplies rivets for a range of customers, including automotive, aerospace and boiler manfacturers.
Rob Robinson, Unite union senior shop steward, described the decision to close as “devastating”.
“I have been here for 35 years and we have had some tough times, but we have not had anything like a closure to face before," he said.
"We are one of the last remaining big employers in the Birmingham area.
“They are saying we have lost market share to cheap producers from the Far East such as China, that our customer base is starting to desert us and that we are too remote from that base. I just do not accept that.
“It has come as a devastating blow to people here. We do not think that they have given Birmingham a fair chance.
“Since 2007, we knew that we have had problems but we have taken a lot of measures to address things and there has been a lot of investment into the site.”
Mr Robinson said workers could qualify for a year’s salary depending on the length of service.
“But there are people in their early 50s with families and massive mortgages. They could get between £30,000 and £35,000 but that wouldn’t last for long.”
The firm has entered into a 90-day consultation period with employees over the job cuts.
“We are working with the senior management team every day – the lads want to know where they stand on redundancy pay-offs and pensions,” added Mr Robinson.
Mr Robinson said the Perry Barr factory was earmarked for final closure by spring 2013, with a phased programme of job losses.
The firm failed to respond to requests for a statement.