Sears Canada workers are feeling confused and angry after learning on Tuesday that the retailer plans to close its remaining 130 stores.
If Sears gets court approval, it would start liquidating the stores as early as Oct. 19, putting the retailer out of business and about 12,000 employees out of work.
“Many of us feel frustrated, anger, betrayal,” a Sears manager told CBC News in an email on Tuesday. He and another employee interviewed asked that we not publish their names because they still work for the retailer and fear retribution.
“People don’t know what to do,” said the manager about staff at his location. “Many people went home already as they were physically upset and needed some personal space.”
A Sears memo sent to staff Wednesday said workers will lose their jobs as early as within the next few days, but that some will stay on for a few months. It also explained that employees will lose their benefits as soon as they’re terminated.
It did not address severance pay, but the manager says he has been told it won’t be offered because Sears is insolvent.
The manager blames Sears’ demise on mismanagement by those in charge of the company. “So much wasted money on renos for stores, head office when we were bleeding for cash,” he said.
“It’s been an extremely painful process to see it all thrown away.”
Cash-strapped Sears Canada has been in court-approved creditor protection since June 22. It has already closed 58 stores and laid off more than 3,000 staff without severance. Many workers who remained were hopeful that a current bid to buy the retailer would succeed and save their jobs.
But now it appears that the bid, led by Sears executive chairman Brandon Stranzl, is off the table. According to the employee memo, Stranzl’s offer provided “less value than would…