Retail Workers Are More Vulnerable Than Ever. A New Campaign Wants To Protect Their Jobs.

by MR Magazine Staff

For 60 years, Toys R Us was a company that offered full-time employment with benefits. It was a place where many made careers, spending decades as salespeople or cashiers who were able to provide for their families and also save money for retirement. But, in 2005, things changed. Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital and real estate company Vornado Realty Trust bought the company, saddling it with so much debt it started slimming down, eliminating positions and cutting back on benefits. With so much money going toward interest payments, it had little left to invest in the upgrades it needed to keep up with the times. In March 2018, the company announced it would liquidate all of its U.S. stores as part of its bankruptcy process, offering none of the more than 30,000 people losing their jobs severance pay. It’s rare that laid off employees become more than an obscure number in a headline, but the Toys R Us severance debacle garnered national attention. In a time when workers have little leverage and unionization is at an all time low, it helped bring focus and urgency to a growing movement to protect the retail labor force. Read more at Vox.