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Plight of Sears Workers Shows Need for National Severance Pay Law

Summary:
At 4 pm ET today, the remaining 68,000 employees at Sears and K-Mart stores will learn their fate. Will the company be rescued from bankruptcy? Or, will the retail chain be liquidated, its stores shuttered, its workers out on the street without a job? In 2004, Sears was bought by financial wunderkind Eddie Lampert and ...

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At 4 pm ET today, the remaining 68,000 employees at Sears and K-Mart stores will learn their fate. Will the company be rescued from bankruptcy? Or, will the retail chain be liquidated, its stores shuttered, its workers out on the street without a job?

In 2004, Sears was bought by financial wunderkind Eddie Lampert and ESL, the hedge fund he founded, and merged with K-Mart. In 2006, the combined company, now known as Sears Holdings, had more than 3,500 stores and a workforce totaling 355,000. Lampert’s hedge fund attracted a who’s who of investors — among them Robert Rubin, David Geffen (billionaire entertainment chief), and Steven Mnuchin, who became Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin, who was on the Sears Board for 12 years before joining the Trump administration, disclosed in 2016 that he held an investment of $26 million in ESL, which he later divested.

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