UK shopworkers union Usdaw has said the announcement that retailer Kwik Save has gone into administration was "no way to treat loyal and hard working staff".

The move will see 56 Kwik Save stores being transferred to a new company and the rest being closed.

While the struggling supermarket chain attempted to stave off a move into administration, hundreds of its employees worked for six weeks without pay. Usdaw said that they would be "devastated" by yesterday's (5 July) announcement.
 
Kwik Save's petition at the High Court in Manchester to transfer 56 stores to a new company, most probably trading as Fresh Express, and close the remaining stores from today, was granted. KPMG has been appointed as Kwik Save's administrators.
 
Union members in the 56 stores being transferred to the new company will join with their existing terms and conditions, and the new owners made a commitment to the court that they would pay their new staff back pay by next Tuesday at the very latest.
 
However, the workers made redundant yesterday and those who lost their jobs last month when Kwik Save closed 81 stores will still be classed as Kwik Save employees and will have to apply for statutory protection from KPMG.
 
"Usdaw members have been working for nothing for the last six weeks enduring great hardship in the hope that their sacrifice would help save the company so staff in the stores earmarked for closure will be utterly devastated," said Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness.

"Our members will be feeling they have been totally let down by Kwik Save and we will support them through the next difficult period as they claim statutory redundancy pay, holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice through the Department of Trade and Industry." 
 
Usdaw said it would be seeking an urgent meeting with the new company to examine their business plan in order to reassure its members that they have a long-term future with the new company.