STAFF at an electrical distribution centre which is to close with the loss of 500 jobs have hit out at claims the poor quality of temporary workers ruined the business.
They say bad management and overstaffing are to blame for the problems.
The Hagermeyer plant on Runcorn's Manor Park is to close in September.
It was hoped something could be done to salvage the mass job losses but the forced redundancies are still scheduled to take place once a 90-day consultation process is complete.
The factory is considered too unstable to remain open following yearly cash losses, a series of logistical problems and a computer crash in 2002 which added to dwindling profits.
Although workers are being encouraged to relocate to a depot in Warrington, there will only be 120 jobs available there.
In a briefing to councillors, Halton Borough Council leader Tony McDermott said: 'Hager-meyer has announced it is closing. The reason cited is the poor quality of the temporary labour they use, which has caused problems with production.
'Over the past couple of years, the company has adopted a policy of employing more staff through temps and it would seem to have backfired.'
Furious staff say the firm is massively over-staffed and often workers had unsuccessfully begged managers to allow them to go home because there was nothing to do.
One long-term employee told the Weekly News: 'It is a disgrace to claim that this is the fault of temporary workers entirely. It is true that some of the temps weren't up to scratch but, then again, we believe a lot of them were being employed when they weren't needed.
'At Christmas, staff were expected to work to 7pm but we spent most of the day standing around with nothing to do.
'On several occasions, people asked to go home without pay but were told they would have to stay. With that sort of management, it is no wonder the plant has gone under.'
The Dutch-owned company will close the warehouse on September 1, while bosses concentrate on regional depots.
It is hoped the British arm of the company can be improved, which includes Newey & Eyre outlets across the North West.
A spokesman for Hagermeyer said the company had done more than its statutory requirements to assist people back into work.