French and UK unions are finalising plans to stage protests at Marks & Spencer's decision to shut stores across Europe.

More than 1,000 workers from France, Belgium and other countries are expected to join the rally in London on May 17.

Union Network International (UNI), which represents 50 unions across Europe, is organising the demonstration.

"We want these closures stopped because we don't think they are well founded or in the interests of consumers," said UNI spokesman Jan Furstenborg.

Union officials will meet in London later this week to finalise plans for the demonstration. French union, CFDT, said it is to seek a suspension by the Paris high court of Marks & Spencer's decision to close its French outlets.

The union will argue no closures can take place until the company sets up a "European works council" with the authority to examine closure plans, Le Figaro reported.

It said the company's existing works council does not meet legal requirements and cannot take the place of a "genuine" European body.