UK trade union GMB is drawing up legal claims for its members affected by JJB Sport's decision to close 72 stores and axe 800 jobs, but JJB refuses to be drawn into a feud.

GMB said that after discussing the job losses with solicitors, it has been advised that JJB can allegedly be considered as a single employment unit, and therefore 90 days notice of consultation for redundancy should apply as there were more than 100 redundancies involved.

GMB's solicitors have also advised that it should take cases for "the lack of consultation" by JJB Sports.

GMB said that for each member involved, the amount to be claimed is up to GBP4,290 (US$8,522.7).

According to GMB, JJB plans to give between two weeks and 30 days notice to its store workers and to pay the statutory minimum redundancy pay of GBP330 per week.

GMB organiser Eddie Gaudie said: "It is disgusting the way JJB Sports has treated its loyal workforce some of whom have up to 25 years service with the company.

"They have been chucked out, GMB believe now that we received legal advice, in breach of their employment rights."

JJB announced the closures last week after reporting a 71.9% slump in annual pre-tax profit.

The retailer, whose profit fell to GBP10.8m, said that seven of the stores are to be re-badged under the Original Shoe Company fascia which it acquired in January this year.

The company refused to comment on the GMB claim when contacted by just-style today (25 April), but Roger Lane-Smith, JJB chairman, said at the time: "We are taking significant action to improve the performance of JJB's retail stores.

"Whilst we have identified a number of stores for closure, which will itself strengthen our remaining store portfolio, we are also investing to improve the quality of our stores and product with further store refits, the introduction of new products from our own brands and the implementation of staff training and incentivisation programmes."

By Joe Ayling, news editor.