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December 22, 2008 10:27 PM

Newcastle East Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman Greg Stone has responded to an invitation from employees of the Woolworths store at Byker to forward a petition containing more than 2500 signatures to the Government, calling for financial bail-out support for the stricken retailer.

Approximately 100 employees at the store at Newcastle Shopping Park fear for their jobs as the company experiences severe financial difficulties, and staff and customers have signed a petition calling on the Government to consider financially supporting the company in the same way that it has helped banks, and is reportedly considering helping automotive companies.

Greg met with anxious staff at the weekend to discuss the plight of the company and receive a copy of the petition they have collected.

Greg Stone said: "Obviously staff and customers at this store and many others are very concerned about the future of Woolworths.

"The staff are obviously concerned about their situation at a time of economic uncertainty.

"They want the Government to intervene to save the company in the same way it has with other prominent companies.

"I have agreed to write to Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business and

Enterprise on their behalf and to forward their petition.

"Given that the Government is now adopting an interventionist policy towards certain companies during the current economic crisis, it would be in the national interest for the Government to identify the criteria for judging which companies should be assisted if they experience trading difficulties.

"If there are reasons why luxury car manufacturers should receive assistance but High Street retailers should not, the Byker staff deserve to hear it and deserve the opportunity of having their own voice heard by Government."