The loss of 450 jobs at Eurotunnel in Kent has been described by a union official as a devastating blow.
Eurotunnel said it wanted to achieve the job cuts by June 2006
But Transport and General Workers' Union spokesman Graham Murfet said workers were getting the best possible redundancy deal following negotiations.
Council and business leaders also said those taking voluntary redundancy would be helped as they looked for new jobs.
The debt-ridden Channel Tunnel operator is shedding 900 jobs in total, half in France and half in Folkestone.
Councillor Robert Bliss, leader of Shepway District Council, said: "We will be doing everything we can to place them [the workers]."
"There are plenty more opportunities coming here," added Caroline Chambers, from the Channel Chamber of Commerce.
"There's a very large development coming on the Shepway industrial estate and there's also the redevelopment of the coastal park, the harbour, the seafront area and the creative quarter.
"If you come back here in three or four years time, this town is going to be buzzing and there will be no memory of this."
Eurotunnel had to be more flexible and reactive, said Jacques Gounon
Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard said he was concerned and would be in his constituency on Friday and Saturday.
"Anybody who wants to talk to me about any problems they may have, I'm very happy to see them," said Mr Howard.
The Transport and General Workers' Union said it had been talking to Eurotunnel about restructuring for some months.
Mr Murfet said officials had got "the best possible deal".
"It's an enhanced redundancy package, we've got start-up grants, advice, retraining and reskilling.
"I hope the decision will benefit Eurotunnel in the long term and my members who have chosen to remain in their employment.
"I will be watching that very closely over the coming years."
The job cuts will leave Eurotunnel with a workforce of about 2,300.