Sears is catching heat for dedicating over $25 million to exec bonuses while reportedly cutting off severance for laid-off store workers
Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Sears/AP Images
- Sears is enticing top executives to stick around by touting $25.3 million in potential bonuses, according to the Chicago Tribune.
- Meanwhile, laid-off Sears store employees told Vox they had stopped receiving severance checks a few weeks after the retailer filed for bankruptcy in October.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders and other commenters took to social media to blast this discrepancy.
Sears has got people fuming over the fact that top executives stand to pick up major bonuses while laid-off Kmart and Sears store employees have seen their severance pay nixed.
Last week, a bankruptcy court gave the company the go-ahead to set aside $25.3 million in bonuses for top executives, according the Chicago Tribune. The retailer argued that it required the money in order to get these execs to stick around.
The Chicago Tribune reported that 19 executives will receive bonuses from a pool of $8.4 million if they help the company hit its goals for next six months, while 315 senior employees could draw from a pool of $16.9 million.
Meanwhile, laid-off Sears store employees have reported that they stopped receiving severance checks after the company filed for bankruptcy.
Sears and Kmart store employees posted a letter to the company on Rise Up Retail's website, demanding that the retailer "guarantee severance pay and create a hardship fund for thousands of laid off Sears and Kmart employees to help our families get back on our feet."
"It has been devastating," laid-off Kmart employee Sheila Brewer told Vox. Brewer said she received severance for two weeks before the money stopped coming. "In addition to losing my job and having anxiety about who is going to hire me, since I haven't had a job interview in almost 20 years, I am counting on this money. I'm already behind on my rent, and I am the sole provider for my family."
A representative for Sears did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to denounce Sears, calling the move indicative of a "rigged economy."
This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy. If Sears has $25 million to give bonuses to executives after closing over 100 stores, why is the company telling thousands of laid off employees they don't have the money to pay their severance? https://t.co/vgL2F2BLVk- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 15, 2018
Let me get this straight: Sears has $25 million laying around to pay out executives who ran the company into the ground, but doesn't have any money to give the thousands of workers they laid off severance pay? https://t.co/nA0yXDmyS5- Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 16, 2018
WTH is wrong with @Sears your gonna give $25 million to corporate for bonuses but no severance to people you laid off? The sad part is Sears decline is so easily fixable. And corporates that are getting the bonuses can't figure it out. It's true common sense too.- Patrick Blum (@NYROCKERSBLUM) December 17, 2018
Sears Canada did the same thing....lifetime employees lost pensions, severance, and remain at the bottom of the totem pole. I'm no socialist, but this is immoral!- ∞Donkey (@libradoodle) December 17, 2018
Serious question: why does any executive who ran a company into the ground deserve a bonus? They should be sued by shareholders. The rank and file workers should receive the severance they are owed #Sears- Feisty Jamaican (@ja_brightside) December 17, 2018
I'm a manager at one of the Sears stores currently liquidating. I might be getting 2 weeks pay as severance. They're still undecided on if they'll pay it. This is complete bullshit.- TheNatterhorn (@horneriffic) December 17, 2018
Yep, ex sears man here (29 years!). The once great company was destroyed by disconnect between competent local management and incredibly incompetent management from Hoffman Estates. Pay the great workers the great severance they so deserve. Stiff upper management.- Marty De (@justadriver1980) December 17, 2018