By Jonathan Davies
Thousands of workers made redundant by the closure of Woolworths will not receive compensation, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The shopworkers' union Usdaw has been fighting for compensation for workers since the retailer collapsed in 2008.
The ECJ's ruling applies to around 3,200 workers who were based in smaller stores with fewer than 20 employees.
UK law does not cover consultation or compensation for redundancies in smaller stores.
Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: "This decision marks the end of the road for our members from Woolworths and Ethel Austin seeking justice and they are heartbroken by today's verdict.
"Our case is morally and logically robust, so today's verdict is a kick in the teeth."