Dutch food group Vion plans to close its meat plant in the Scottish town of Broxburn, unions officials have said.

The Usdaw union said today (5 July) Vion announced the plans to “stunned” employees at the site in West Lothian. The closure puts 1,750 jobs at risk, the union said.

Usdaw deputy Scottish divisional officer Stewart Forrest said staff were “shocked and extremely angry”.

Forrest added: “A 90 days consultation period will start tomorrow, but the first question we want answered is why the company has waited until this eleventh hour before engaging with its employees and their union. We will be examining the company’s business case for the proposed closure in detail and want to know when losses started and why so little action appears to have been taken to address them until now.

“Vion did indicate last month that the site had financial problems and as a result our members agreed to defer this years pay negotiations. However, Usdaw was given no indication of the true seriousness of the situation and that is extremely regrettable and in my view totally unacceptable.”

Officials at Vion could not be reached for immediate comment. Last September, Vion signalled its faith in the future of the Broxburn site with plans to set up a learning centre at the plant.

However, Vion signalled last month jobs in the UK could be under threat after it announced plans for cuts across Europe. The company’s profits fell last year on the back of higher raw material costs.

The company has made a series of changes to its UK operations in recent years, with plants closed but others seeing investment. Vion was also hit by a strike this year in the UK after a pay dispute.