A number of papers cover the failure of workers at collapsed retailers Woolworths and Ethel Austain to win compensation – a ruling that has left Usdaw, the union which has fought the case for the workers, “heartbroken”.
The European Court has ruled in favour of the Government over redundancy laws, preventing the cost of laying off staff for businesses that employ 20 or fewer people from escalating, following a four-year tussle between the British and European courts (The Telegraph). That meant 3,200 former Woolworths workers whose case went to the ECJ missed out on compensation payments because they were based in stores employing fewer than 20 staff (The Guardian).
Employment lawyers welcomed the ruling, saying it would give greater clarity to British businesses worried about the high costs associated if they did not carry out consultations properly (The Independent), but Usdaw’s general secretary, John Hannett, said: “Our case is morally and logically robust, so today’s verdict is a kick in the teeth”.
An activist investor is calling for a break-up of John Menzies after “recent underperformance” of the airport services and newspaper distribution group. Lakestreet Capital Partners, which in March lifted its stake in the Scottish company past 3 per cent, said that the business was “dramatically undervalued when taking into consideration the sum of its parts”. (The Times £)
The businessman at the heart of J Sainsbury’s extraordinary courtroom battle in Egypt claims that the retailer and its chief executive have caused him “huge losses” and “suffering”. Amr el-Nasharty said he believed it was right that an Egyptian judge had convicted Mike Coupe to two years in jail for allegedly attempting to “seize” cheques relating to the bankruptcy of Edge, a supermarket group founded by Mr el-Nasharty. (The Times £)
Following Sainsbury’s Egyptian drama this week, The Telegraph’s Graham Ruddick looks at “why British retailers get it so wrong overseas”. “British retailers should be aspiring to set the agenda across the world,” he writes. “Succeeding overseas as a retailer is not easy and takes patience… Tesco and Sainsbury’s can only dream of such patience from their shareholders.” (The Telegraph)
The Financial Times has an interview with Campari CEO Kunze-Concewitz, in which he pledges to take its top brands and extend their footprint internationally. He says: “I meet a lot of investors. Italy scares them. They see the economic and political environment and they see Italy as a liability. The truth couldn’t be further from that for Campari.” (The Financial Times £)