About 200 Arcelor Mittal workers from across Spain protested on Thursday against a decision by the company to close its steel factory in Madrid.
They blew horns and whistles, and waved red and white union flags, outside the headquarters of Spain's industry ministry to demand that the government do more to keep the factory open and protect industrial jobs.
"This is an absolutely tragic moment for our country. Without industry there is no future for our country," said the deputy secretary of metalworkers union MGA-UGT, Teadoro Escorial.
Arcelor Mittal's plant in Villaverde in the southern suburbs of Madrid made steel girders for construction before it went idle in October.
The Luxembourg-based company, the world's largest steelmaker, has offered to redeploy the 324 employees of the staff elsewhere in Spain and it left the possibility of reopening the site at a later date if demand picks up.
"The government has turned its back on us and is forcing us to emigrate," said Jose Gonzalez, a 56-year-old employee of the company's Madrid plant.
Arcelor Mittal employs 11,000 people in Spain, which had an unemployment rate of 22.85 percent at the end of last year, the highest in the industrial world.
The company posted a net profit of $2.3 billion last year, a 22 percent drop over the previous year.