Vion Food Group stunned workers on Thursday after it proposals to close its meat processing plant in Broxburn put 1750 jobs at risk.
The company, which took over Halls of Broxburn in 2008, will now start a 90-day consultation with its workforce on the job losses.
West Lothian Council John McGinty said: “It is a shock to hear the scale of the potential job losses at the VION Foods. We understand that the company has made significant changes across Europe following ‘disappointing results’ in 2011.
‘‘It is a devastating for everyone involved. VION is a major employer in the area and this is undoubtedly a serious blow in what is already an extremely challenging employment market.
Linlithgow MSP Ms Hyslop said: “This is a devastating blow for workers and their families in West Lothian. Vion Halls is the biggest private employer in this constituency.’’