WHEN news emerged from a leak and delivered on social media that Michelin in Dundee was to join the list of other industrial giants who have long since quit the city – such as Timex and NCR – widespread anger was triggered as work started yesterday to try to halt the closure.

Michelin said it decided to close the Dundee facility because of what it called a “significant global market change”, whereby the small tyres it specialises in were being hugely undercut by cheap Asian imports.

READ MORE: Kicked in the teeth: fight starts for Dundee Michelin staff shocked by closure

However, an angry Louise Mitchell wrote on Facebook: “Shocking the way the news broke. My dad has been working there well over 30yrs and hasn’t formally been told from the company yet – only found out via Facebook.”

One worker told the BBC: “It is a shock, waking up and finding it on the news. It isn’t a big shock that probably we are closing to be honest, but how we found out is more of a shock than the actual closure.”

Another employee said: “It shouldn’t have come out like it came out. We had an idea that something was going to happen but not as bad as this.”

John Reid, managing director of the Baldovie factory, admitted that the manner in which the news was delivered was not acceptable.

Speaking after meeting staff representatives, he said: “The first thing I did was apologise for the way things were communicated last night.

“That was not the plan. Frankly, for people to be sitting at their dinner tables and finding out that their jobs were going was unacceptable.”

The factory – which employs almost 850 people – was shut yesterday to give employees time to digest the news. It will reopen tomorrow.

Michelin, which is headquartered in France, has been part of Dundee’s industrial landscape for nearly 50 years – and more recently the city’s only major manufacturing plant.

The company’s huge site, which is built on what used to be farmland, churned out its first tyre 46 years ago yesterday, one of many millions since.

It has gone through its fair share of ups and downs over the years and, at one point in the noughties, was earmarked for closure.

However, production was cut, and the factory reprieved.

Much has been written about the city’s renaissance with the multimillion pound waterfront development, which includes the new V&A Dundee, its creative and, of course, digital sectors, which have taken over from the three Js of jute, jam and journalism.

Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, told The National there had been some positive news amid the Michelin gloom: “It’s a year where there’s been so much positivity and where we felt we were at a tipping point and that’s important – the city’s done such a lot of regeneration. Nothing will soften this blow, but there are investment plans that will hopefully allow us to give this really skilled workforce the right next step for them.

“On a positive note we’ve already had a significant number of businesses come forward to say they understand the level of the skill of the workforce there and would be very keen to talk to them once the consultation has worked through.”