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Haldanes Stores to enter administration

Date: 09 June 2011 Supermarket chain Haldanes Stores has today announced it is to enter administration, putting over 500 jobs at risk and threatening the closure of up to 26 stores located across the country.

In a letter sent to store managers this morning, the company said that all stores, except those located in Tattershall, Wigton, Crieff and possibly Tranent, will cease to trade after close of business next Tuesday 14 June. The four stores that may remain open are subject to possible acquisition and further information on their future is expected shortly.

The letter added that, although staff would be paid in full for the period of 9 to 14 June, all other outstanding wages, holiday pay and statutory notice will have to be claimed by employees from the Government, a process that normally takes up to three months.

Haldanes Stores Limited was formed less than two years ago, initially to buy a group of stores the Co-operative Group had been instructed to sell by competition authorities, following its acquisition of Somerfield.

Other stores operated by the Haldane Retail Group which includes Haldanes Express and all but two of its Ugo Stores are unaffected.

Joanne McGuiness, Usdaw National Officer said:

"This is devastating news for our members but it certainly won't have come as a complete shock to them. In addition to the recent negative news reports about the company, we have been receiving anecdotal evidence from members suggesting the chain has been struggling for a while."

"Our immediate priority is to support and represent our members through this very difficult and worrying time and we will be doing everything possible to help them secure alternative employment and to ensure they receive all monies and severance payments that they are entitled to."

"As there has been absolutely no consultation on the store closures and redundancies, as required by law, then we shall also be making a claim on behalf of our members for a protective award. If successful this could lead to an additional payment for them."

"Once again however, this situation highlights the fundamental weaknesses and injustice of the existing laws covering company closures and administration. Workers legal protections and contractual terms can simply be ignored and it is the taxpayer who ultimately picks up the bill for outstanding payments and compensation owed to them. It is wrong and we shall continue to campaign for a fundamental change in the law so that workers are better protected."

Notes for Editors:

  1. The Haldanes Stores affected are located in Arbroath, Belper, Biddulph (Ugo Store) Broxburn (Ugo Store), Buckie, Carluke, Carterton, Crieff, Dovercourt, Ellon, Forfar, Fraserburgh, Glasgow, Huntingdon, Kelso, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Larkhall, Pontefract, Prestonpans, Pwllheli, Ramsey, Royton, Tattershall, Tranent, Wick and Wigton.
  2. Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

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