The sad Sears story is now getting sadder with news that its new owner wants to get out of paying thousands of workers their pensions.
CNN Business reports:
“The owner of Sears promised to pay out tens of millions of dollars in severance to employees who lost their jobs. Now he wants to get out of it.
Former Sears Holdings chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert — who bought the remains of the bankrupt company
earlier this year — is threatening not to make $43 million in pension payments to thousands of workers who have lost their jobs over the last year in multiple rounds of store closings
Lampert disclosed that plan in court documents filed recently, the existence of which were first reported late Tuesday.
Lampert also denied that he is responsible for making some payments to creditors he says Sears Holdings is trying to force him to pay, according to the filing. Sears Holdings is the bankrupt remnants of the old Sears. It exists only to settle claims against it involving its few remaining assets.
Lampert had previously agreed to pay the severance to workers who lost their jobs before and during Sears’ bankruptcy. Creditors objected to Sears paying severance to people laid off before the bankruptcy, so those workers never received an exit package.
But in the latest court documents, ESL said it wouldn’t make the severance payments because Sears didn’t give the hedge fund all of the assets it spelled out in ESL and Lampert’s agreement to buy Sears. That included the amount of store inventory originally promised by Sears, as well as the company’s headquarters in suburban Chicago.
‘Because of these shortfalls, [ESL] believes it has no obligation to assume $43 million in severance,” the firm’s lawyers argued in a recent filing.'”
For the rest of the story, visit CNN here
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