The last manufacturing shift has finished at an Oamaru woollen mill that is being sold to a carpet maker.
Four weeks ago, Summit Wool Spinners announced it was making its 192 staff redundant at the end of this month as part of a sale agreement with the plant's buyer, Godfrey Hirst.
The buyer has indicated it may rehire a skeleton staff of up to 50 workers.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says the yarn spinning machines fell silent at midday on Monday after the management unexpectedly told the morning shift to finish production.
The union's lead organiser, John Gardner, says about 20 people have told him they are leaving Oamaru in search of work but there may be more.