Sixty former store managers are taking legal action against Sainsbury, claiming they were dismissed unfairly. The managers, whose salaries ranged from £33,500 to £54,000, were sacked in January when they were told they did not meet the requirements of their new job specification. Solicitor David Royden, who represents 58 of them, said his clients would be seeking reinstatement and compensation for loss of earnings at an industrial tribunal. If they win, and Sainsbury refuses to reinstate them, the retailer could be faced with paying more than £80,000 to each of them. Their average length of service was 20 years. Royden, who acted for 30 Sainsbury staff culled in a round of sackings two years ago, said he believed his clients had a strong case. He denied that severance payments had been generous, and said any tribunal would look at the "global loss", taking into account elements such as loss of pension, loss of earnings and company car. "We are talking about people with 20-25 years service, so that will be a considerable amount," he added. The tribunal would subtract any severance package from the global loss to arrive at the compensation figure, and Royden said that many would still be looking at the maximum of £80,000. A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "We reviewed the store managers' role to meet business needs and put in place a comprehensive assessment process looking at individual capability for a new and different store manager role. The data collected was discussed with each store manager who was asked to undergo assessment. Each was given the opportunity to challenge the assessments." {{NEWS }}