Usdaw pleased that an early date has been set for the Woolworths and Ethel Austin case

Shopworker trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) announcement that they will hear the Woolworths and Ethel Austin case on Thursday 20 November 2014.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: ‘We are pleased that this case is going to be heard sooner rather than later because we had feared that it wouldn’t be concluded until autumn next year. This will mark the end of a six-year legal wrangle about workers who were unfairly ruled out of an award for not being properly consulted on their redundancy, simply because of the size of store they work in.

‘Our case is morally and logically robust. It 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 thousands of workers lost their jobs. How can anyone suggest that the redundancies should be treated on a store-by-store basis when the whole company was closing down?

‘Having won this case at an Employment Appeal Tribunal, we were stunned when the Government appealed the decision, because they had failed to attend the hearing. We hope that the CJEU will ensure that justice can be done by former Woolworths and Ethel Austin workers.’

The Woolworths / Ethel Austin case will be heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union, in Luxembourg, at 2.30pm, on 20 November and will be in a conflated hearing with the Lyttle case from Northern Ireland and Rabal case from Spain.

Read More