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
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.
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."
- 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
- 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.