American firm Xerox is to close a factory in the UK with the loss of about 1,300 jobs under plans to reduce costs, unions were told today.
The company said jobs would mostly be lost at Mitcheldean in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire under plans to improve productivity and increase competitiveness.
The Manufacturing Science and Finance Union said the announcement was a "disaster" for workers and their families.
Xerox said it would begin consultations with unions about the transfer of work currently done at its site in Mitcheldean.
The MSF union complained there was no prior consultation before officials were called into a meeting today to hear the news.
The factory at Mitcheldean makes photocopiers but the work is being outsourced to a US contractor and the work is likely to be switched to the Czech Republic.
Xerox said it would retain a small workforce at the plant employed on electronic design work, but much of the site is likely to be sold.
The company said it would offer redundancy payments "substantially above" the statutory minimum and would help staff look for other jobs.
"This is obviously a bad situation and something we don't like to do but it is important that Xerox remains a healthy company to serve our shareholders and our customers.
"Unfortunately these things are sometimes necessary but we are doing everything in our power to make the transition as painless as possible," said a company spokesman.