Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has won a full 90-day protective award for former Haldanes employees who lost their jobs when the convenience chain closed 21 stores in June 2011, without having conducted a proper consultation.

The move resulted in 600 job losses and staff were only given around five days notice, rather than the required 90.

The stores consisted of 21 former Somerfield stores and five Co-op stores, all of which Haldanes bought between November 2009 and April 2010 - before closing them just over a year later.

Darren Miller, Usdaw head of Legal Services, said: “This claim came about because the company hid its difficulties, and despite reports in the press that it was struggling, only let Usdaw know just five days before it closed most of its stores on 14 June 2011 and the remainder on the 29th.

“So it failed to properly consult and give staff proper notice, as required by law, the tribunal found in our favour and gave the maximum award.”

All staff who worked in these stores will now receive a sum, equivalent to 90 days pay, footed by the government.

The win was only awarded to staff who worked in Haldanes stores which employed 20 or more people.

A further 10 stores with less than 20 staff were also closed, but did not qualify for the award.

John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary, added: “We are pleased to have fought an injustice and won for our members who worked in stores of 20 or more employees; but remain frustrated and angry that a Conservative-led government fought tooth and nail to deny justice for workers in stores of less than 20 staff.”