Retail union calls for clarification over staff status at Littlewoods

Retail union Usdaw is seeking clarification from Littlewoods about the pension rights of the department store chain’s 2,700 staff after it sold 120 stores across the UK to discount clothing retailer Primark.

The union is also seeking urgent clarification about which company will deal with possible redundancy deals for staff. The call comes after it was revealed that retail restructuring firm Hilco UK will be acting for Primark as it looks to dispose of around 80 high street stores to other retailers.

Littlewoods had informed its staff that the 120 sites would continue to trade under the Liverpool-based firm’s name until March 2006 and that staff would continue to be employed by the company.

“This is becoming an increasingly complicated situation and we just need to sort out who is ultimately responsible for Littlewoods employees and their rights,” said Usdaw national officer John Gorle.

“At least now we have until March next year to resolve these issues. We have a long-standing, positive relationship with Littlewoods, which has traditionally been a good employer, so we are hopeful we can get the information quickly and pass it onto our members.”

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