FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2017
Federation President says laid off Sears workers emphasize need for stronger protections for workers nationally, provincially
(Halifax, NS) – The treatment of thousands of laid off Sears employees, under existing laws, highlights the need for stronger basic protections and employment standards for workers, says the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.
Sears Canada has recently announced it will close 59 stores and laid off some 2,900 staff. NSFL president, Danny Cavanagh, is calling on the NS federal Liberal MPs and our provincial government to do something to ensure workers in these situations are protected.
Nova Scotia workers first felt the pain of job loss at Sears when stores in Sydney, North Sydney, Windsor and Antigonish were closed in 2015. Now, Sears Canada will be closing three more stores in Dartmouth, Halifax, and Truro, and laying off 190 employees.
Sears recently filed for bankruptcy (creditor) protection under federal law, and in doing so, is leaving its workers out in the cold by escaping its responsibility to pay severance to workers affected by the store closures.
“It means that laid off workers, including many long-term employees who would be otherwise legally eligible for compensation, will receive nothing, and that’s wrong.” says Cavanagh.
“It’s troubling that other former Sears employees, who were receiving severance as part of an earlier round of buyouts, had their payments terminated. Creditor protection laws also allow companies to shirk their pension responsibilities. The Federation believes it’s time for our MP’s and province to step up and ensure workers’ benefits and pensions are protected in such situations. While the company’s efforts to use creditor protection fall under federal, not provincial, laws and jurisdiction, it’s these circumstances that emphasize why basic protections for non-union workers need to be strengthened in a number of ways, both here in our province and across Canada.”
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For more information or to arrange interviews contact: NSFL President Danny Cavanagh @ (902) 957-0822
The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is the provincial voice of the Labour Movement, representing 70,000 members in over 400 union locals.