Union leaders are to hold urgent talks with management of Morrison's after the supermarket chain revealed plans to close a West Midlands distribution depot with the loss of 582 jobs.
Representatives from shopworkers' union Usdaw and the Transport & General Workers Union will meet senior managers from Morrison's and logistics firm DHL, which runs the Relay Park site in Tamworth.
Morrison's said the 370,000 sq ft site would close at the end of August following a review of the network aimed at improving deliveries to stores in the South West and south Wales.
Morrison's said it wanted to sell the location, which was acquired as part of the Safeway takeover four years ago, as a going concern, retaining DHL as the operator.
In a statement yesterday DHL confirmed the closure of the site, which has been used to supply home, leisure, health and beauty products to stores across the Midlands.
The statement said: "Following a network review by Morrison's it has become apparent that there may no longer be a requirement for a distribution depot located in Tamworth.
"It is anticipated that Morrison's will therefore cease trading out of the Tamworth site by the end of August 2007. This proposal would affect approximately 582 employees at the site.
"Morrison's are actively exploring alternative solutions to occupy the site, with a desire to sell it as a going concern, retaining DHL as the operator.
"DHL Exel Supply Chain is currently engaged in a process of consultation with its employees and their trade union representatives."
A spokesman for Morrison's said the products currently stocked at Tamworth would now be stored at a depot in Northampton, while the food which was previously located in Northampton will be relocated to Swindon.
The move was part of Morrison's attempts to improve its supplies to its outlets in the South-west and South Wales, the spokesman said.
While DHL said it hoped to redeploy as many staff from the site in Relay Park as possible in the region across the business.
A Morrison's spokesman said: "The former Safeway distribution depot is owned by us but managed by DHL so it's their staff that are affected but it's a decision that we've taken.
"Geographically, the centre in Northampton is better for us, it is near to our other sites. DHL is currently consulting with its employees and trade unions and we working with them.
"Ideally we are looking to sell the site as a going concern retaining DHL as the operator."
A DHL spokeswoman said: "This is a high density area in terms of DHL operations and we will do everything we can redeploy as many staff as possible across the business."
Gary Holz, divisional officer for Usdaw, said: "This decision has come to us as a shock and it was very unsettling for the staff.
"We will be having talks with management and asking them for more information."