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Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Woolworths workers stage protest

Woolworths' staff protest
Staff are campaigning to receive redundancy pay

About 30 staff who lost their jobs when the Jersey branch of Woolworths closed last month have staged sit-in protest at the store in St Helier.

They were campaigning for redundancy pay as Jersey has no statutory redundancy protection for employees.

More than 80 local people were made redundant when the retailer went into administration.

The branch, one of more than 800 stores to close in the UK and Channel Islands, is now being administered by Deloitte.

The store, in King Street, closed on 30 December.

Staff decided to stage the sit-in because they had still not received their official redundancy notices.

They had planned to occupy the empty premises overnight but were told by Deloitte they would not be permitted to do this.

We're determined, we're not going to back down
Former Woolworths' employee

Instead a number of them marched on Deloitte's Jersey office afterwards, to hand over the keys to the store.

One of the former staff said: "There should have been a system in place to help us. We need help with bills and rent.

"There aren't that many jobs out there."

Another said: "We're determined, we're not going to back down, no way."

Lease 'interest'

In a statement Deloitte said: "We are working, within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act, to pass on the details of Woolworths employees to other retailers who may be interested in taking over the lease on the store.

"We are working with the unions to try and do this."

Deloitte said there had already been interest in taking over the lease on the Jersey store.

Earlier this week a 6000-name petition calling for redundancy pay for Woolworths staff was handed over to States politicians.

The States is considering whether to allocate 140,000 to a one-off redundancy fund for affected employees.



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SEE ALSO
Woolworths petition handed over
06 Jan 09 |  Europe
Woolies staff await payout news
04 Jan 09 |  Jersey
Woolworths' Jersey staff protest
03 Jan 09 |  Business
Woolworths to shut on 30 December
22 Dec 08 |  Guernsey

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