Administrators sacked more than 1,200 people at Unipart Automotive last week, after the car parts supplier collapsed into insolvency.
Just 361 of its 1,813 staff were transferred to other firms. Unipart had more than 180 branches and hubs in the West Midlands and elsewhere.
The workers’ union Unite warned that administration could threaten pensions and redundancy payments.
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There was a sense of solidarity and hope