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Letter: Sears employees, retirees left to twist in the wind

After working at the Sears department store in St. John’s for 35 years, Patsy Whalen of Paradise worked her last shift Monday, when the store closed its doors for the last time.
After working at the Sears department store in St. John’s for 35 years, Patsy Whalen of Paradise worked her last shift Monday, when the store closed its doors for the last time. — Rosie Mullaley/Telegram file photo

I write regarding the story, “Longtime St. John’s Sears employee sad to see store close its doors for good,” in The Telegram Jan. 9.

I used to work for Sears for five or six years in Oshawa, Ont. My first student summer job was with Sears. My first part-time job while attending high school and, later, university, was with Sears. My first regular paying job was with Sears. I worked for them from 1977 to 1983.

Sears then is different than Sears now. I feel sad that some of my former co-workers who are now retired are faced with cutbacks to their pensions and benefits.

It is unjust that the financially bankrupt Sears has to pay their executives, shareholders and creditors first before they look after their retired pensioners, many of whom worked for Sears for 20 to 30 years or more.

I wonder what the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council’s Richard Alexander has to say about this? Where is Labour Minister (responsible for Workplace NL) Sherry Gambin-Walsh, and our Liberal and Progressive Conservative MHAs? Where are local Liberal MPs Yvonne Jones, Gudie Hutchings, Churence Rogers, Scott Simms, Ken McDonald, Nick Whalen and Seamus O’Regan? Shouldn’t they, and the rest of the Justin Trudeau Liberal government, introduce legislation protecting workers’ and retired workers’ pensions, benefits and severance packages from bankrupt employers like Sears?

 

Edward Sawdon

St. John’s

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