Union leaders last night hit out at Peugeot after car workers decided against striking to save the Ryton plant near Coventry and its 2,300 jobs.
The Transport & General Workers Union said its members had been bullied and bribed into voting against industrial action when the result was announced yesterday.
They voted 516 to 440 against taking industrial action, while those of Amicus, the other major union represented at the site, voted 331 to 200 against.
Des Quinn, regional officer for the T & G, said he was very disappointed with the outcome and would be seeking further talks with his members to discuss their next move.
"It was very close result, in a plant of this size they do not come much closer than that. Peugeot has tried to bribe our members into submission and they have threatened a lot of people, saying they would remove the redundancy package which is on the table.
"They have bullied and threatened people."
Peugeot has offered workers half a month's wages for every year they have worked at the plant, along with a special 26 week payment.
For someone with seven years service, the redundancy payment would amount to about £30,000.
Mr Quinn said: "On the face of it that sounds good and it is compared to the statutory levels. But it is much cheaper than it would have been in Europe."
He said he would be seeking further talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen and the workers to discuss their next move.
But he conceded that a Europeanwide day of action with fellow Peugeot workers in France and Spain was probably now off the agenda, although a boycott of Peugeot products could still take place. Jim O'Boyle, T&G works convenor at the plant, said: "We are disappointed but not surprised.
"We always expected the vote to be close, and there was a lot of people who wanted to leave.
"But part of our alternative business plan was to let some people go. If the ballot had gone on for a week longer I think there would have been a very different result.
"Lots of people have been to the resource centre to see what other jobs are available, and have been leaving shaking their heads in disappointment. "Peugeot has threatened to remove the package and said they would bring the closure of the plant forward."
T&G general secretary Tony Woodley said the vote reflected the fact that many workers wanted to take redundancy and it did not signal the end of the campaign to keep the factory open.
Mr Woodley said: "The trade unions have produced a robust plan which could guarantee a secure and profitable future for the plant.
"We will now be discussing with those of our members who will still be working at Ryton after July how to carry forward the campaign to save their jobs and stop the collapse of manufacturing industry in this country. All options are still on the table."
Roger Maddison, Amicus' national officer for the automotive industry, said: "We are bitterly disappointed at this result which we believe reflects the sad reality of the lack employment protection in this country and worker's feelings of helplessness.
"However, Amicus will be announcing an alternative battle plan against the company later this week which will make Peugeot reconsider their plan to close Ryton."
The factory is due to close next summer, threatening thousands of job losses at firms which supply Peugeot with parts and services as well as the 2,300 direct jobs. A spokesman for Peugeot said around half of the jobs would go in July, with the remainder being axed next year.
But he refuted claims that the company had bullied staff.
He said: "We will now continue with the work we have started, putting all the resources necessary into helping our employees get back into employment."