Retail giant Wal-Mart had the legal right to close a store in Saguenay that was on the verge of becoming unionized in 2005, Canada's highest court ruled Friday.

The 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada ends a four-year legal saga that began when most of the store's 190 employees were fired as they were about to negotiate a collective agreement.

Most lower courts that ruled on the case also sided with Wal-Mart.

During the Supreme Court hearings early this year, the company denied it fired its employees because they had just formed a union.

The company said they were let go simply because the store was shutting down.

But workers at the outlet said the two events were related.

- With files from The Canadian Press -