One of 14 workers made redundant this week by Port Kembla's Austral Masonry has spoken of his shock at the decision.
Charles Zammit had plans to buy a block of land and was scheduled to sign a contract at 3.30pm on Tuesday.
He pulled out of the purchase after he was called to a work meeting at 2.30pm and told the plant was ceasing production immediately.
"We all just sort of looked around and didn't know what to say," said Mr Zammit, a forklift driver.
"We were dumbfounded."
Mr Zammit, 31, said the company had offered him a new job at its western Sydney plant, but he believed it paid less than his previous rate - $21 an hour - once shift allowance and loading were taken into account.
He received a payment factoring in his three years with the company, which began after he was made redundant at OneSteel Metaland.
Mr Zammit said he was angry with the company for not warning workers of the closure.
He said he worried about paying his mortgage, and reviving his plans to buy the land.
"Everything's been put off really. It will be at least six months before I can get a loan," he said.
"At least we could have been told two weeks before. I know another person there who just got a mortgage.
"We were just a number."
Austral told the Mercury it would offer workers outplacement and support meetings on Monday in conjunction with the Australian Workers Union.
The company bought its western Sydney plant, in Prospect, about two weeks ago.