Woolworths staff win compensation

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FORMER Woolworths workers have been granted their redundancy pay – three years after the collapse of the high street chain.

A total of 45 people lost their jobs when Scarborough’s Woolworths, in Westborough, closed in January 2009 after the firm went into administration in the previous November.

Now, three years down the line, shopworkers union Usdaw has won compensation for the workers.

Usdaw made a claim on behalf of its members for a Protective Award after months of legal wrangling.

In a judgement the Employment Tribunal in London found that the administrators had failed in their legal obligations to consult with Usdaw.

Usdaw members, including those in Scarborough, were awarded compensation of 60 days pay, capped at £330 a week, tthe maximum payable in these circumstances.

Scarborough Usdaw representative Hayley Pickles said: “The former Woolworths staff are going to be thrilled. This is the money they never got when they were made redundant.

“It is sending out a really clear signal to employers to say you are not going to get away with treating staff like this, you will pay the consequences eventually.”

The compensation, however, has not been awarded to stores where fewer than 20 redundancies were made.

John Gorle, Usdaw National Officer said: “The fact that some of our members won’t be compensated simply because their store had less than 20 employees is just plain wrong and shows the gaping loophole and injustice of the current legislation.”

Scarborough’s first Woolworths store opened in 1924. A new store was built on the site of the old one in 1965, and it was modernised with a £1 million facelift in 1989.