Unite denied that it had agreed to the closure of the Birkenhead plant and complained the consultation process was still in progress.
Regional officer at Unite, Franny Joyce described the decision as “scandalous” and accused the firm of misleading its workers.
She said: “Instead of doing the right thing for its loyal workforce, Tulip is doing everything it can to divert attention away from its vulture-like behaviour and the attempt to renege on a previously agreed redundancy deal.
“Since Tulip acquired Tranfoods in December last year, it is clear that it has made no attempt to keep the site open. Instead it has been putting all the efforts into removing the meat from the site, leading to business closure and job losses.”
Joyce also claimed that the firm’s suggestion that the union had agreed to the decision was a “smokescreen to divert attention away from its behaviour.”
The 218 workers at the site were informed of the closure and immediate end to production yesterday morning. The firm advised workers that the early closure was due to operational issues and production problems, according to Unite.
Peter Judge, chief operating officer at Tulip, said: “There have been a number of operational issues with the Abbey Street site that has meant we have had to take the very difficult decision to cease all production as from today.
“Although everyone at Tranfoods has been working very hard, the operational difficulties have proved to be far greater than first envisaged and have left us with no viable option other than to cease production.”
Since acquiring the business in 2011, Tulip claimed it had been working to try and address a number of issues at the loss-making facility. But this had proved to be “far more difficult than first envisaged”, a statement from the firm revealed.
FoodManufacture.co.uk reported in January that Tulip was to close the site with the loss of all 218 jobs.
Speaking at the time, Joyce claimed that the situation looked “very bleak” for everyone involved.
The Abbey Street site prepares and packs meat products for Tranfoods, part of the firm’s Parkam Foods group. Tulip acquired Parkam Foods last November for an undisclosed sum.