Woolworths staff lose compensation scrap
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) backed a Government appeal and agreed that the outlets that had less than 20 members of staff are to be excluded from an obligation to consult over redundancies, which means they don't qualify for compensation.
This particular ruling overturns the findings of an employment tribuna, which means that the 3,200 members of staff that were employed by Woolworths won't get any money. The same can be said for 1,200 ex-workers of Ethel Austin.
Those who worked at bigger stores will get redundancy payouts.
The USDAW shopworkers union's general secretary John Hannett said: "This decision marks the end of the road for our members from Woolworths and Ethel Austin seeking justice and they are heartbroken by today's verdict."
"Our case is morally and logically robust, so today's verdict is a kick in the teeth. It is unfair and makes no sense that workers in stores of less than 20 employees were denied compensation, whereas their colleagues in larger stores did qualify for the award. These were mass redundancy situations where one central decision was made to close the whole company down, with no individual analysis of the viability of each store on a case-by-case basis."
The union added: "Usdaw is now turning its attention to seeking a change in the law to protect future redundant workers from suffering the same injustice."